Veteran linebackers Bart Scott and Calvin Pace are expected to be released soon by the salary-strapped New York Jets. Pro Bowl safety and pending free-agent LaRon Landry also is not expected to return.
Should the Buffalo Bills swoop in and recruit any of these former Jets? Here are several reasons it's possible:
Buffalo has a strong tie to Pace, Scott and Landry now that defensive coordinator Mike Pettine left the Jets this year to join the Bills. Buffalo will run the same system that he ran with the Jets, and Pettine needs to recruit players who know the system well. Buffalo, unlike New York, also has salary-cap space to spend on signing free agents.
It's also no secret that Buffalo needs an upgrade at linebacker and safety. The Bills just cut linebacker and leading tackler Nick Barnett, as well as veteran safety George Wilson. They will be looking for at least one linebacker and one safety to fill those holes. Buffalo was 31st against the run last season, and needs to get a lot tougher. Scott, Pace and Landry all have the ability to improve Buffalo's physicality.
Finally, Buffalo offers familiarity and a chance to stay within the division. Money obviously is the biggest factor. But rest assured playing against New York twice a year will provide some level of added motivation for former Jets. It is doubtful Buffalo will land all three former Jets in free agency. However, it wouldn't be shocking if the Bills make a run at least one of them to fill a need.