Buffalo Bills: Marquise Goodwin

Continuing a series analyzing the economics of the Buffalo Bills roster, position by position:

Position: Wide receiver

Total cap value: $11,768,271
Compared to NFL average: 26.3 percent less
NFL positional rank: 25th

Portion of Bills' total cap number: 8.5 percent

2014 cap numbers:
Sammy Watkins: $3.624 million (10th on Bills, 39th among NFL wide receivers)
Mike Williams: $1.8 million (Bills: 23rd; NFL: tied for 60th)
Robert Woods: $1.106 million (Bills: 27th; NFL: 84th)
T.J. Graham: $777,813 (Bills: 33rd; NFL: 103rd)
Marcus Easley: $730,000 (Bills: tied for 35th; NFL: tied for 106th)
Ramses Barden: $730,000 (Bills: tied for 35th; NFL: tied for 106th)
Marquise Goodwin: $674,719 (Bills: 40th; NFL: 119th)
Kevin Elliott: $570,000 (Bills: tied for 47th; NFL: tied for 160th)
Chris Hogan: $495,000 (Bills: tied for 59th; NFL: tied for 205th)
Chris Summers: $420,000 (Bills: tied for 78th; NFL: tied for 295th)
Caleb Holley: $420,000 (Bills: tied for 78th; NFL: tied for 295th)
Cordell Roberson: $420,000 (Bills: tied for 78th; NFL: tied for 295th)

Average per year:
Williams: $7.924 million (2nd on Bills, 15th among NFL wide receivers)
Watkins: $4.983 million (Bills: 8th; NFL: 29th)
Woods: $1.216 million (Bills: 24th; NFL: 76th)
Barden: $737,500 (Bills: tied for 35th; NFL: 115th)
Graham: $725,313 (Bills: 37th; NFL: 122nd)
Goodwin: $713,469 (Bills: 38th; NFL: 124th)
Easley: $533,333 (Bills: 58th; NFL: 208th)
Holley: $510,000 (Bills: tied for 68th; NFL: tied for 259th)
Hogan: $495,000 (Bills: tied for 77th; NFL: tied for 305th)
Elliott: $480,000 (Bills: 83rd; NFL: tied for 328th)
Summers: $465,000 (Bills: tied for 84th; NFL: tied for 334th)
Roberson: $445,000 (Bills: 90th; NFL: tied for 366th)

Most overpaid: Williams and Stevie Johnson. Split honors here. Williams has a manageable cap number this season but his contract balloons after that. His $5.2 million base salary next season is fully guaranteed and if the Bills want to keep him around in 2016 or later, his cap numbers will be $7.2 million, $7.5 million, and $8.75 million. Williams will need to play at a high level to justify the money he receives later in his contract. Meanwhile, after trading Johnson, the Bills have a $10.225 million dead-money hit against their cap this season. That's a sizable chunk of change for someone who won't contribute to the team this season.

Most underpaid: Woods. There isn't much Woods or the Bills could do about this, as the NFL doesn't permit renegotiations of rookie contracts until after the third season. Woods caught 40 passes for 587 yards last season, but you have to wonder how he would have performed if the Bills didn't have a revolving door at quarterback. On a better team and with a better quarterback, Woods may have received more attention than he did. He showed well this spring and could be part of a revitalized Bills offense this season. If he can prove himself in his second season, Woods may enter his third professional season as one of the more underpaid players on the team. The potential is there.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills wrapped up their three-day minicamp Thursday, officially beginning their month-long break before training camp.

With tight end Scott Chandler the only player not on the practice field -- he was excused from minicamp for a family matter -- the Bills were near full health as they head into their summer vacation.

Coach Doug Marrone said Thursday that he isn't aware of any players that should miss the start of training camp because of injury, which means that several players who were limited in organized team activities and minicamp should be ready when the Bills start practice on July 20.

Among those players who were limited in recent weeks was wide receiver Mike Williams. He told reporters Thursday that he was still recovering from a hamstring injury suffered last season that required surgery.

"We started off where they threw me out there and I was just going every rep and then the leg starting getting to me and then they started holding me back more and more," Williams said. "But then I started getting my legs back and giving me more reps."

T.J. Graham, who didn't participate in any team drills during OTAs or minicamp, is also expected back by training camp. That will bring the Bills' wide receiver position back to full health and create strong competition this summer.

The Bills mixed and matched personnel at receiver throughout spring practices, with Williams, Marquise Goodwin, and Chris Hogan all seeing reps with starting quarterback EJ Manuel at one point or another. All three receivers also received snaps with backups Thad Lewis and Jeff Tuel.

When Williams is healthy by training camp, he remains the favorite to earn reps alongside Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, and the first-team offense.

However, we wrote last week that Williams' roster spot wasn't a "sure bet" given the landscape of the position. Williams is a talented player who could easily secure a role with a strong training camp, but it's too early to dismiss two other players on the depth chart: Hogan and Graham.

Hogan didn't look out of place with the top offensive unit this spring, and Graham couldn't practice on offense but got his work in as a returner in recent weeks. Both players, along with Goodwin, could push Williams for playing time at wide receiver.

It will be one of the top competitions to watch when the Bills start training camp.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills began their final week of organized team activities with two injuries in Monday's practice.

Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin came down hard on his right knee while diving for a catch. He met with trainers and briefly returned to practice before eventually leaving the field. His injury doesn't appear to be serious but is worth monitoring.

Meanwhile, rookie defensive end Bryan Johnson was carted off the field with a left leg injury. Johnson, who returned to practice Monday after sitting out two sessions last week, immediately grabbed for his left knee following a play during 11-on-11 work.

Coach Doug Marrone checked on Johnson before the cart left the field. Johnson is an undrafted rookie from West Texas A&M.

Defensive tackle Kyle Williams, wide receiver Mike Williams and running back Anthony Dixon were not spotted at Monday's practice after participating in the final session of last week. Tight end Tony Moeaki spent practice rehabbing from an undisclosed injury.

Guard Chris Williams returned to action after missing two practices last week. Offensive lineman Doug Legursky remained out after sitting out last Thursday's session.

Running back Bryce Brown, who dealt with an undisclosed injury through the first two weeks of OTAs, was a full participant Monday. He moved well, catching a pass across the middle from Thad Lewis in stride at one point.

Linebacker Kiko Alonso (hip), cornerback Leodis McKelvin (hip), cornerback Stephon Gilmore (hip), and wide receiver T.J. Graham (hip) all sat out team drills. Defensive end Mario Williams saw some limited action in those drills.

Wide receivers Cordell Roberson and Marcus Easley, tight end Mike Caussin, guard J.J. Unga, running back Ronnie Wingo, and cornerback Darius Robinson all remained limited due to injuries.

Defensive end Manny Lawson and defensive tackles Alan Branch and Marcell Dareus were not present.

Bills draft preview: Wide receiver

April, 11, 2014
Apr 11
As we step away on vacation, we'll provide a position-by-position preview of next month's draft from a Buffalo Bills perspective:

Position: Wide receiver

Current personnel: Steve Johnson (signed through 2016), Mike Williams (2018), Robert Woods (2016), T.J. Graham (2015), Marquise Goodwin (2016), Marcus Easley (2014), Chris Hogan (2014 tender), Ramses Barden (2015), Kevin Elliott (2014), Cordell Roberson (2015), Brandon Kaufman (2015), Chris Summers (2015)

Draft need: Moderate-to-low

State of the position: This is a hard position to pin down. Theoretically, the top of the depth chart should be set for the next several years, with Johnson, Williams, and Woods all under contract for at least the next three seasons. Even then, it's tough to say whether Johnson or Williams will play out their deals in Buffalo. Johnson has cap numbers approaching $9 million in each of the remaining years of his contract, putting him at risk of being a salary-cap casualty. His production has been good but may not justify that sort of salary.

Williams, on the other hand, was jettisoned from Tampa in part due to off-field issues. If those crop up again in Buffalo, would the Bills tolerate him? It's a question worth pondering. If Williams puts up the same numbers that he did in his first three seasons with the Buccaneers, he'll be a significant part of the Bills' offense, but the possibility also exists that he doesn't bounce back from a hamstring injury last season and is relegated to a lesser role.

Beyond Johnson and Williams, the Bills have used a second-round pick (in 2013, for Woods) and two second-round picks (in 2012, for Graham and in 2013, for Goodwin) and may have enough young talent to justify not drafting another receiver. But with Graham's future in Buffalo iffy, it wouldn't be shocking if the Bills drafted a taller receiver in the late rounds to compete for a roster spot. The chances of Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans coming to Buffalo, however, are slim.

Sweet spot: Second round or later.

Possible targets: Brandon Coleman (Rutgers), Cody Latimer (Indiana), Devin Street (Pittsburgh)
We recently chatted with ESPN NFL Insider Matt Williamson, a former scout for the Cleveland Browns, about a variety of Bills topics.

Next, we'll take a closer look at the Bills' receivers and tight ends, and how those positions fit into Buffalo's draft needs:

Thoughts on receivers: "I had hopes for the receiving corps. I think [Robert] Woods will take a step forward. I think [Marquise] Goodwin has a chance to be a difference maker. I think Stevie Johnson's best days are probably behind him, but he's still productive. I prefer Goodwin [over T.J. Graham], but I think clearly they're looking for burners. That's something they're obviously targeting in terms of how they're building this offense."

Drafting a tight end: "I'd almost rather see them move from No. 9 to No. 15 or No. 16 and take the best tight end on the board. It looks like there's three of them that are potential first-rounders this year: Eric Ebron (North Carolina), Jace Amaro (Texas Tech), and Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Washington). I think a tight end would go a long way in that offense. I don't think [Scott Chandler] is impressive."

Effect of receivers on C.J. Spiller: "It's hard to have an offense when your most important or most valuable guy is a satellite player, you know? It would be nice if you had... I mean, [Reggie] Bush has Calvin Johnson. Almost if you had a stud at any position. If you had [Rob Gronkowski], if you had a receiver where Johnson and Woods were second and third options, or if you had Drew Brees. One more stud at almost any spot on that offense, then I think Spiller becomes much, much more effective."

Chances of drafting Sammy Watkins: "Then that might be the move. Or move up three spots to get him. Even though I don't think receiver is a huge need. It's kind of like how I feel about every position on the offense. I don't see anything as just a massive need. Except for right guard, but you're going to find a guard. If your No. 1 need is guard, you'll figure something out to find a guard. It's not like, 'Holy cow, they need a tight end so bad that they need to reach to get one,' or 'They can't live with this receiving corps.'

Right now right tackle is not great, but they can't possibly live with who they have. It's almost like, if [they] could just get one stud who's a perennial, Pro Bowl-type player -- and of course they don't grow on trees -- and Watkins might be the best bet for that in this draft, considering where they pick and maybe they can move up a couple spots or whatever -- then I think the rest of the things would really fall in line, with a huge 'if,' if [EJ] Manuel is a legitimate NFL quarterback. Because if he isn't, then it doesn't matter."
Back in September, we broke down the Buffalo Bills' 53-man roster, position-by-position. Now that the Bills' season has ended, we'll review those grades:

Position: Wide receiver (preseason grades)

Robert Woods -- 78.4 percent
T.J. Graham -- 70.9 percent
Stevie Johnson -- 60.4 percent
Marquise Goodwin -- 27.0 percent
Chris Hogan -- 16.1 percent
Marcus Easley -- 5.3 percent


Preseason take: Absent Woods or Goodwin being a major disappointment, the Bills are deep at receiver. The one question mark lies in the No. 2 receiver: Is it Woods or Graham? Since the Bills anticipate playing a majority of three-receiver sets, that may not necessarily matter on paper. However, if an opponent's top cornerback is able to take away Johnson, then Woods or Graham will need to step up and put defenses on notice. Grade: A-

Postseason review: Neither Woods nor Goodwin was a disappointment, but the oversight here may have been with Graham. In terms of snap counts, Woods and Graham wound up as the top two receivers. However, if Stevie Johnson played a full 16 games -- he missed four games -- then Graham's playing time would have slipped. For being on the field nearly three-quarters of the time, finishing with 23 receptions was a disappointment for the second-year receiver. Had Graham picked up more slack for Johnson's absence, then the depth at this position would have been better, but this grade was too generous.


Preseason take: Johnson has played three consecutive 16-game seasons, but missed time this training camp with a hamstring injury. Another tweak could always keep him out a game or two, but that isn't a major concern. As with most receivers coming out of the draft, there will be questions with Woods and Goodwin until they prove themselves on a consistent basis. Dropped passes in particular are something to look out for with Woods. Grade: B

Postseason review: Johnson did miss two games after tweaking his lower back, and later, his hip. He also battled through hamstring and groin issues for parts of the season, so injuries were more than a minor concern for the Bills' top receiver. Meanwhile, Woods missed time with an ankle injury and Goodwin broke his hand before dealing with hamstring, elbow, and knee injuries later in the season. When they were on the field, both rookies made strides towards proving themselves, but because of the rash of injuries at this position, this grade should have been lower.

Upon Further Review: Bills Week 16

December, 23, 2013
A review of four hot issues from the Buffalo Bills' 19-0 win over the Miami Dolphins:

Jackson reportedly has broken ribs: The Buffalo News reported after the game that running back Fred Jackson played through broken ribs. Jackson, 32, was probable for the game after sitting out Wednesday's practice. It's hardly the first time that he's played through injury this season, and coach Doug Marrone noted that after the game. "Early on, I think maybe some other players -- not talking about players on this team, I'm talking about other players that have had what he has -- I'm not sure they can go out and perform like that," Marrone said. "I give him a lot of credit and I admire him for that."

Robey stands out: Undrafted rookie cornerback Nickell Robey continues to be one of the top performers on the Bills' defense. On Sunday, he had two sacks, three total tackles for loss and a pass defensed. The slot cornerback is undersized but plays with great instinct, according to Marrone. "He's a very good definition of instinct," Marrone said. "When you come on here and you just have the feel for the slot, has a feel for the routes, has a feel for things going on out there and he's done a nice job." Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said that the team was shocked that Robey, who played at USC, wasn't drafted in April.

Goodwin has repeat injury: Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin left in the first quarter and did not return. It was announced as a knee injury, and Marrone said it apparently has been a recurring issue for the rookie. "It was the same injury ... he's had this injury before where it kind of goes and comes and we call it a knee," Marrone said. "I don't know the extent of it, [but] obviously it's worse than it has been in the other games."

Reason for Dareus' benching: Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was benched for the first quarter after an undisclosed team rules violation. WGR 550 reported after the game that Dareus has been "habitually late" to team meetings this season.

Rapid Reaction: Buffalo Bills

December, 22, 2013

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- A few thoughts on the Buffalo Bills' 19-0 win over the Miami Dolphins:

What it means: Quite the showing by the Bills' defense, which recorded its first shutout of the season. Only three Dolphins drives crossed midfield and Miami never entered the red zone. The Bills improve to 3-2 in the division and 4-3 at Ralph Wilson Stadium this season, which are small milestones for a team that had already been eliminated from the playoffs. They've also won back-to-back games for the first time under coach Doug Marrone.

Sack attack: The Bills came into the game as the NFL's leaders in sacks. The Dolphins entered Sunday allowing the most sacks. It hardly came as a surprise, then, that the Bills notched seven sacks in their shutout win Sunday. They now have 56 on the season, which shatters their previous franchise records of 49 (in 1995) and 50 (in 1964, before sacks were an official statistic).

Woods ejected: Receiver Robert Woods was ejected in the third quarter after throwing a punch at Dolphins safety Reshad Jones. The two players tussled after a play and took it to the ground, with Woods taking a swing at Jones' helmet. Woods argued with an official before being escorted off the field.

Goodwin injured: The Bills' other rookie receiver, Marquise Goodwin, left in the first quarter with a knee injury. It was quickly announced that he would not return, which may not be a good sign for the third-round pick from Texas.

Stock watch: Fred Jackson, rising. Jackson will turn 33 in February but shows no signs of slowing down. He rushed 19 times for 111 yards on Sunday, his first 100-yard rushing game of the season. That's an impressive performance in Week 16 for any running back. Jackson also surpassed 5,000 career rushing yards in Sunday's win.

What's next: The Bills, now 6-9, wrap up their season next Sunday in New England. They remain in fourth place in the AFC East.

Goodwin leaves with knee injury

December, 22, 2013
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is out for the remainder of Sunday's game with a knee injury.

The rookie receiver was tackled into the Dolphins' sideline on an end-around run late in the first quarter. He remained down for several moments before walking back to the Bills' sideline with the help of trainers.

Goodwin suffered a hand injury in the season opener and missed four games.

Graham, Goodwin quiet in December

December, 20, 2013
Earlier this week, we noted that Buffalo Bills receiver T.J. Graham played 32 percent of the snaps in Sunday's win in Jacksonville, the least he's been on the field since Week 4.

With top receiver Stevie Johnson not expected to play Sunday against Miami, it could provide Graham with an opportunity to have a bounce-back performance.

In the past three games, Graham's production has been down. But he hasn't been alone; rookie speedster Marquise Goodwin has also been quieter than usual.

Combined, the two young receivers have been targeted 11 times in the past three games and have no catches.

Here's a look at their contributions this month:

Snaps vs. Atlanta: 66 percent
Targets vs. Atlanta: 2
Catches vs. Atlanta: 0

Snaps vs. Tampa Bay: 69 percent
Targets vs. Tampa Bay: 3
Catches vs. Tampa Bay: 0

Snaps vs. Jacksonville: 32 percent
Targets vs. Jacksonville: 2
Catches vs. Jacksonville: 0

Snaps vs. Atlanta: 36 percent
Targets vs. Atlanta: 4
Catches vs. Atlanta: 0

Snaps vs. Tampa Bay: 39 percent
Targets vs. Tampa Bay: 0
Catches vs. Tampa Bay: 0

Snaps vs. Jacksonville: 20 percent
Targets vs. Jacksonville: 0
Catches vs. Jacksonville: 0

So why is the duo struggling to produce? Part of that is the quarterback play -- EJ Manuel had his worst game of the season against Tampa and got off to a slow start in Jacksonville. Some of it may be penalty flags. While neither has a catch in December, both have drawn defensive pass interference calls.

There is also the idea that Graham and Goodwin may be one-dimensional receivers at this point in their careers. Both have breakaway speed but have been used sparingly as underneath receivers, where precise route-running and catching ability are more important.

Are big plays backfiring for the Bills?

December, 12, 2013
Big plays, big results, right?

Maybe not.

Some of the Buffalo Bills' most memorable moments of this season have been long touchdown passes, particularly by receivers T.J. Graham and Marquise Goodwin. When the two speedsters have been able to connect on long balls, the resulting big plays have been the strongest evidence supporting the Bills' new offensive style.

But when those deep plays aren't there, the Bills' offense has struggled. Buffalo ranks 30th in the NFL in red zone efficiency, lacking an ability to punch the ball in when they can no longer use the speed of Goodwin and Graham to take advantage of opposing defenses.

That's a troubling trend. Consider this statistic: The Bills average the most yards (26.7) per touchdown reception in the NFL, but they have thrown the third-fewest touchdown passes in the league -- just 13.

On the surface, averaging nearly 27 yards per touchdown catch might suggest an explosive potential within an offense. But in reality, the Bills aren't in good company among the NFL leaders in that statistic. Of the teams who rank in the top ten for yards per touchdown reception, only two -- the Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles -- have winning records. Moreover, seven of those ten teams are also among the ten teams with the fewest total touchdown passes.

For the Bills' offense, having the big-play, scoring potential isn't a negative, but it needs to be balanced by an ability to move the ball -- and score in the red zone -- when the deep game isn't in play. That responsibility falls more on receivers Steve Johnson and Robert Woods, as well as tight end Scott Chandler, and collectively the results haven't been there this season.

As for Goodwin and Graham, who have combined for six touchdown catches this season, they're not off the hook, either. Part of the problem is that Goodwin and Graham force the offense into being one-dimensional when they're on the field, as neither has been productive when they're not using their speed in the deep game.

"I think that we have to find ways as an offense where we can get them the ball. Obviously it can’t just be throwing go routes," coach Doug Marrone said Wednesday. "Now we’ve got to make sure we’re doing things with them where teams aren’t getting beat with just run and gos. Put it up there a little bit where we can use their speed and get them in."

Bills near full health as season wanes

December, 6, 2013
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Well, at least they're healthy.

At 4-8, the Buffalo Bills are staring down their ninth consecutive losing season, but at the moment, injuries aren't the issue.

The Bills listed just two players on Friday's injury report. Both are probable for Sunday's game in Tampa.

Here's their full injury report:

DT Kyle Williams (Achilles)
WR Marquise Goodwin (calf)
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills tight end Scott Chandler did not practice Thursday for personal reasons.

Coach Doug Marrone said Chandler's wife was expecting the birth of their child Thursday.

Meanwhile, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (calf) was limited on Thursday's practice report.

"Goodwin tweaked his calf during practice and we just took him out for the rest of it," Marrone said. "He should be fine. [That's] preliminary. We just rested him the rest of practice."

Here's a look at the full Thursday injury report:

TE Scott Chandler (personal)

WR Marquise Goodwin (calf)

DT Kyle Williams (Achilles')

Offensive snaps: Spiller plays 40 percent

November, 18, 2013
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- A look at snaps played by Buffalo Bills' skill-position players in Sunday's win against the New York Jets, while analyzing how the totals reflect the way players were utilized (totals provided by the NFL):

QB EJ Manuel -- 67 of 67
WR T.J. Graham -- 63 of 67
WR Marquise Goodwin -- 57 of 67
TE Lee Smith -- 50 of 67
TE Scott Chandler -- 42 of 67
RB Fred Jackson -- 36 of 67
RB C.J. Spiller -- 27 of 67
FB Frank Summers -- 25 of 67
WR Chris Hogan -- 19 of 67
TE Chris Gragg -- 9 of 67
RB Tashard Choice -- 4 of 67
WR Marcus Easley -- 3 of 67

ANALYSIS: This is the second consecutive week the Bills played 67 snaps. In the first three quarters Sunday, they scored 34 points. A week earlier, they managed just three points through three quarters. ... Smith saw more action than Chandler for the first time this season, a reflection of an overall "heavier" look on offense that saw Summers, a blocking fullback, play 37 percent of snaps. ... Spiller played 40 percent of offensive snaps, the most playing time he's seen since Weeks 1 and 2, when he played in 59 percent. While his workload still isn't where most expected it to be, his production -- 13 carries for six yards -- likely played into his reduced role Sunday. ... Hogan stepped into a role as the slot receiver in Stevie Johnson's absence, but his playing time was still relatively limited. The Bills leaned mostly on Graham (94 percent) and Goodwin (85 percent), who each scored on long touchdowns.

Manny Lawson questionable for Sunday

November, 8, 2013
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills linebacker Manny Lawson is questionable for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers after being excused from Friday's practice for personal reasons.

"I spoke to him this morning, I excused him. It's not injury-related. He's taking care of some personal issues," head coach Doug Marrone said. "I'm going to talk to him this afternoon. ... I don't know much about the situation."

Lawson, 29, has started eight games this season for the Bills, recording 43 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.

Meanwhile, wide receiver Robert Woods (ankle) is listed as doubtful but will travel to Pittsburgh with the team. He did not practice again Friday.

Fellow rookie receiver Marquise Goodwin (hamstring) is probable and will play Sunday, per Marrone.

The full Bills injury report, including player participation in Friday's practice:

WR Robert Woods (ankle; did not participate)

LB Manny Lawson (personal; did not participate)

QB EJ Manuel (knee; full participation)
QB Thad Lewis (ribs; full participation)
DT Kyle Williams (Achilles'; full participation)
WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring; full participation)