Speaking Thursday at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley updated the status of talks with the Bills' top four free agents: defensive end Jerry Hughes, running back C.J. Spiller, safety Da'Norris Searcy and linebacker Brandon Spikes.
In total, the Bills have 10 unrestricted free agents set to hit the open market on March 10, with an open negotiation period beginning March 7.
Outside of those top four free agents, here's what I've learned:
DE Jarius Wynn -- The Bills have expressed interest in re-signing Wynn, according to a source. However, a deal is not imminent and there is not expected to be movement until March. Wynn, 28, was part of a rotation at defensive end last season in Jim Schwartz's scheme, making one start. He's expected to compete for a starting role at defensive end in Rex Ryan's scheme, which is a different position than last season but one that he's played before in his career. At 6-foot-3, 285 pounds, Wynn should be sturdy enough for the job.
G Erik Pears -- There hasn't been any movement between the Bills and Pears, according to a source. It's unlikely the Bills will re-sign Pears after adding free-agent guard Richie Incognito earlier this month. Last week, Whaley called the Bills' guard play last season "lackluster," which is a sign they're looking to move on from Pears.
LB Larry Dean -- There have been initial talks between Dean and the Bills, according to a source, but no deal is imminent. Signed in September, the veteran was a quiet contributor to the Bills, finishing third on the team with nine special teams tackles. There's a possibility he could return to the Bills, but they are deep at linebacker and playing time on defense could be hard to come by.
WR Marcus Easley -- The Bills' top special teams player from the past two seasons is in a good position to return in the same role. Whaley told reporters in Indianapolis last week the Bills are interested in re-signing him.
TE Lee Smith -- There's no word on whether the Bills are interested in bringing Smith back next season. The burly blocking tight end doesn't provide much upside as a pass-catcher, and the Bills could use a boost in athleticism at the position next season. Free agency (Charles Clay, Jordan Cameron, etc.) and the draft (Maxx Williams, Clive Walford, etc.) are both options, which could be bad news for Smith.
LB Stevenson Sylvester -- There's also no word on whether the Bills want Sylvester back next season. The former Pittsburgh Steelers special teams maven was signed last summer to add depth at linebacker, but he suffered a torn patella tendon in the preseason. There's no word on if he's healthy again and ready to play.