The Buffalo Bills have been trying for years to solve their problem at wide receiver opposite Lee Evans.
Over the past few seasons, the Bills have tried veterans Terrell Owens and Josh Reed and others on the other side of Evans, but none of them could provide the coaching staff with a long-term solution. If post-draft OTA practices were any indication, they finally might be on to something.
According to player sources, former New England Patriots second-round pick WR Chad Jackson might have been the most impressive player from an offensive skill standpoint during post-draft workouts.
But it hasn’t been all rosy for Jackson.
Jackson is known in scouting circles as a height, weight and speed player, but lacks good enough route-running skills and discipline. This means he looks the part, but doesn’t play up to his talent. He opened eyes during the 2006 NFL Scouting Combine with a 40-yard dash time of 4.32 to go along with a 38.5-inch vertical jump. At 6-1, 215, a 4.32 40-yard dash time is unheard of, which could explain his rise on draft boards entering the 2006 draft.
Jackson struggled to make any kind of impact, finishing with just 13 receptions during his tenure with New England, who gave up on him shortly after his second season began.
He then played for the Denver Broncos in 2008. While he only posted one reception, Jackson learned each of the three receiver positions on offense, two of which he saw time at during Buffalo’s OTA practices.
Because Buffalo is really hurting at the receiver position, it would almost be an upset if the 25-year old former University of Florida Gator didn’t seriously challenge for a job in training camp. In fact, winning a starting job could be in the equation.
Even if Jackson puts it all together, the second receiver in Buffalo won't have much fantasy value unless the Bills offense is dramatically better than expected. Fantasy owners should keep an eye on who wins the starting job opposite Lee Evans, but shouldn't have them in their draft plans.
Is this the year James Hardy emerges as an impact wide receiver?
Terrell Owens is gone after one overly hyped season. The Bills also declined to re-sign long-time veteran Josh Reed, leaving the offense with a young, unproven corps of receivers behind Lee Evans.
There are a number of candidates for the No. 2 spot, with Steve Johnson, Chad Jackson and rookie Marcus Easley entered in the wide-open competition.
Head coach Chan Gailey said it's way too early to tell who will come out on top. But Hardy, a 2008 second-round draft pick, is expected to be the guy. He is certainly approaching this offseason like the job already belongs to him.
No matter who wins the job they won't be highly sought after in the fantasy world. He may be worth a late pick or could be someone to watch on the waiver wire as every year WRs tend to come out of no where.
Terrell Owens is on the market after the Buffalo Bills announced Saturday they do not plan to offer him a contract.
The Bills also declined to offer contracts to defensive end Ryan Denney and wide receiver Josh Reed, allowing them to become unrestricted free agents at midnight on March 5.
"We wanted to inform all three players ahead of the start of the free agency period so they could begin making their plans," Bills general manager Buddy Nix said. "We just felt that was the right thing to do. All three have represented our organization with class and we thank them for their dedication and hard work."
Owens, who will turn 37 in December, caught 55 passes for 829 yards and five touchdowns in his only season in Buffalo. He also ran for a touchdown.
"I would like to thank the great fans in Buffalo, Ralph Wilson & the Bills organization for all their supports this past season," Owens said on Twitter.