Here are the moves the Buffalo Bills should consider when free agency opens at 4 p.m. ET, Thursday, March 9:
Consider re-signing Zach Brown at the right price: The most appealing player for the Bills to re-sign should be linebacker Zach Brown, who made the Pro Bowl last season as an alternate after posting 149 tackles, four sacks, one interception and two forced fumbles. At 27, he should remain a productive player for several more seasons. He also is the best fit in new coach Sean McDermott's 4-3 system among the Bills' linebackers, having the speed to play sideline to sideline. The Bills should have a limit to how much they will pay Brown, but it makes sense for him to return.
Don't be afraid to let players walk: The Bills have 22 remaining unsigned unrestricted free agents and they would be wise to allow most of them to sign elsewhere. With $18 million in salary-cap space (or $31 million if they release Tyrod Taylor), the Bills do not have room to bring back everyone, nor would it make sense to do so. Lorenzo Alexander was a feel-good story last season but he will turn 34 in May and is a better fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker than in any spot in McDermott's 4-3. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore's performance last season was not in line with the deal he is seeking. Several other players -- including running back Reggie Bush, quarterback EJ Manuel, wide receivers Percy Harvin and Justin Hunter, and linebacker Brandon Spikes -- do not seem to have have futures in Buffalo.
Address depth at wide receiver: The Bills lost restricted free agent Chris Hogan last offseason and their depth at wide receiver suffered as a result. The problem could be worse next season if No. 2 receiver Robert Woods and No. 3 receiver Marquise Goodwin sign elsewhere as unrestricted free agents. As it stands, the Bills have Sammy Watkins, Walter Powell, Kolby Listenbee, Marcus Easley and Dezmin Lewis under contract for 2017 at receiver. One way or another, the team must restock that position and prevent the issues faced last season when Watkins was injured.