Busy Bills wheeling and dealing to fix faulty offense


Well, nobody will accuse the Buffalo Bills of being boring this offseason.

Less than 24 hours after swinging a headline-grabbing trade to acquire Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, the Bills announced another deal Wednesday for Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel.

Just think: We're still six days away from the start of free agency, when the NFL's hot stove will heat up for real.

By signing offensive lineman Richie Incognito last month and trading for McCoy and Cassel this week, the Bills have gotten a head start on the frenzy and have positioned themselves to make additional moves this March.

Cassel will undoubtedly compete with EJ Manuel this summer for the starting quarterback role, but there's no reason why it can't be a three-man race. Given the relatively cheap cost of acquiring Cassel and the lack of guaranteed money in his contract, which has one season remaining, the Bills could add another quarterback to the mix.

Might it be Mark Sanchez? Brian Hoyer? Matt Moore? That's still unclear, but I wouldn't expect the Bills to stop here. Whether it's the draft or free agency, throwing a third quarterback into the ring would only strengthen the chances of finding a suitable starter for the 2015 season.

No matter what they do next, there's been a clear pattern to the Bills' moves so far this offseason: They are at least trying to bolster their offense.

There's no guarantee Incognito will get his career back on the right path and become a full-time starter at guard, just as there's no guarantee Cassel will be able to win the starting job at quarterback. But they're both low-risk moves that prove the Bills are intent on improving one of the NFL's worst offenses last season.

Adding McCoy, who comes with a much steeper cost, was an aggressive move that gives the Bills more flexibility in this year's draft. With running back less of a need and another arm in the mix at quarterback, the Bills can focus on finding a tight end or helping their offensive line with their second- and third-round picks.

It's the right approach. It would be considerably premature to say the Bills have gotten over the hump and can topple the New England Patriots in the AFC East, but if they Bills are ever going to do that, this is how it will happen.

Are the Bills being aggressive? Yes. Will it work out for them? Who knows.

But you certainly can't accuse them of being boring.