Bills preseason: 5 players who could raise trade value with strong outings

08/13/2022
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When Brandon Beane took over as general manager of the Buffalo Bills, one of the first things he said was that he’d know he had a competitive roster when good players had to be cut and scooped up by other teams. That’s where Buffalo has been the last couple of seasons, and Beane attacked this issue by trading some of those pieces before they were lost for free. This year will be no different, so let’s examine five Bills that could raise their value in the eyes of other teams and become trade candidates for Beane as he trims down the roster.

Cody Ford

The Bills took Ford in the second round of the 2019 draft with the hopes that he would become a starting tackle for the next decade. Whether it’s injury or talent, Ford hasn’t been the mainstay Beane and Co. had hoped. The Oklahoma product has been moved all over the line to try and find a home. Even with the position changes, he saw a career-low in snap percentage last year at just 47%. Throw in the fact that Rodger Saffold and David Quessenberry were brought in to bolster the line, and Ford is quickly losing the numbers game. In the team’s first depth chart he is listed as the backup right guard behind the re-signed Ryan Bates. If Ford can have a good showing vs. the Colts, coupled with several line injuries already happening in camps, he could become a player worth a day-three pick to another organization.

Zack Moss

When the Bills selected Zack Moss in the third round of the 2020 draft, it was thought he’d come in and become the short yardage back. That hasn’t materialized, with Josh Allen remaining the touchdown hound near the goalline and the top choice on third or fourth and short. The Bills also drafted another running back in James Cook during the second round of the most recent draft, pushing Moss down to third and battling free agent Duke Johnson for touches. If the presumed combo of Devin Singletary and Cook are the leaders for Sean McDermott, Ken Dorsey, and Allen, Moss could be the odd man out and searching for a new home, one Beane would like to find via acquiring a day three pick.

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Marquez Stevenson

It appeared the Bills drafted Stevenson in the sixth round last year to battle for the team’s return jobs, but it hasn’t materialized for the former Houston Cougar. The wide receiver by trade only handled 21 returns a season ago, and he fumbled a pair of them. If we know one thing about McDermott, it is that protecting the ball is king. Buffalo also brought in veteran Tavon Austin, who is currently listed as the primary punt returner, with Isaiah McKenzie at the top of the kick return list. If Beane could recoup a sixth-round pick for Stevenson, he would have to seriously consider it.

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AJ Epenesa

Epenesa could be a massive catch-22 for the Bills brass. If he flashes against the Colts and makes a couple of splash plays, fans will be dreaming of him in a rotation with Von Miller, Gregory Rousseau, and Boogie Basham, but his value may spike a bit with a solid performance. That idea, coupled with the fact Shaq Lawson was brought back into One Bills Drive, could put Epenesa squarely in the crosshairs of the other 31 GMs and give Beane added reason to move the former second-round pick.

Cam Lewis

The University at Buffalo alum finds himself in a difficult numbers game with the Bills drafting a pair of corners (Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford) to fight for snaps at CB. The fact that Tre White appears to be on track to play sooner than later also bumps Lewis’ value down for Buffalo.

The Detroit native earned 13% of snaps in 2021 but did have some flash plays, causing a fumble and getting a tackle for a loss. In the team’s first depth chart he is listed as the third nickel behind Taron Johnson and Siran Neal. I know Cam personally from my time covering UB, and one thing he wants more than any is to see the field. A move for the 2019 UDFA could ultimately be beneficial to both parties.

 

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