PFF: Bills should target Yannick Ngakoue, William Jackson III in free agency

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Nick Wojton
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The Bills will likely have to do some tinkering around with their salary cap this offseason. Due to the financial difficulties caused by COVID-19 this past year, 2021 will see the salary cap drop.

Latest reports suggest that could be anywhere between $180-185 million. The Bills sit right around that area in terms of upcoming cap space and Pro Football Focus did acknowledge that, but also pointed out some interesting free agent targets for Buffalo in the coming weeks.

According to the football analytics outlet, two players the Bills should look into signing are defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and cornerback William Jackson III.

Here’s the PFF breakdown:

Buffalo can open up over $20 million in cap room via cuts prior to free agency. If they do that, they’ll be in the market to bolster their middling defensive front. Quinton Jefferson, Mario Addison and Vernon Butler all underwhelmed and produced PFF grades below 61.0. Yannick Ngakoue isn’t going to provide much in run support, but he will bolster the Bills’ pass-rush and could slide right into Addison’s role in 2021. Ngakoue is tied for ninth among edge rushers in pass-rush grade over the last four seasons. He and Hughes would immediately become one of the better pass-rushing tandems in the NFL.

Jefferson, Addison and Butler are three of four cap casualties they suggest Buffalo makes this offseason. All three would be deductions from the defensive line, however, the Bills should want some better production from that area.

As a team, the Bills produced 38 total sacks in 2020. That was better than 16 other clubs, but Super Bowl teams are not average. The Bills should aspire for better production from their D-front, pass rush specifically, next year.

Ngakoue could be a player with youth (25) that would help the Bills in this area. However, Spotrac currently pegs Ngakoue as a player who could make up to $15.5 million in free agency this offseason after bring traded to the Ravens in 2020. That asking price could be a lot for the Bills to handle.

On Jackson, Spotrac actually pegs him potentially as the better investment. Not only would his projected yearly value of $6.3M be more affordable, he also gets the PFF seal of approval as he was graded as the NFL’s 20th best cornerback in the league last season. Pairing Jackson up with Tre’Davious White would give the Bills’ secondary a firm No. 2 cornerback option, something Buffalo has lacked in recent years. That could potentially vault the group back into contention for the best secondary in the NFL as well.

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