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The Buffalo Bills haven’t made a very big splash in free agency this year. That isn’t to say that haven’t found any value. The Bills have added former Giants linebacker Keith Rivers last season he was ranked 3rd at the linebacker position in tackles with 45 that is a 2.81 average per game in his first complete season in his five year career. Rivers numbers suggest he is a run stopper as opposed to a pass coverage guy. In 62 career games Rivers has 275 tackles that averages out to 4.43 tackles a game. He also has 3 career sacks 2 career interceptions and 7 career passes defended which gives him career averages of 0.04 sacks 0.03 interceptions and 0.11 passes defensed a game. The Bills had one of the worst run defenses in football so Rivers should be a quality pickup as a three down back on first and second down and special teams.
The Bills have also added former Baltimore Ravens cornerback Corey Graham. Last season Graham had 74 tackles which was third amongst Raven defensive backs and tied for fifth overall on the team. Graham had 12 passes defensed and 4 interceptions which equals out to about one big play a game. Graham averaged 4.6 tackles a game last season. He bolsters a passing defense that was fourth in the league. Opponents completed 55.3% of their passes against the Bills and barring injury and regressions that number should drop as a quality corner like Graham joins this secondary.
The Bills have also signed former 49ers running back Anthony Dixon. This clearly seems to be a special teams move. Dixon last year had had 56 yards on 28 attempts for a 2.0 rushing average. He had a receiving ratio of 100% but that is deceiving because he only had 3 receptions for 30 yards. Dixon also had 6 tackles on special teams last season. He’s young so there is a lot of upside to him.
The biggest splash the Bills have made so far this offseason is the signing of former Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes. Spikes was third on the Patriots in tackles with 86 with 0 sacks 1 interceptions and 2 passes defensed. For his career Spikes has 286 tackles in 51 games that is an average of 5.6 tackles a game. He also has 1 sack and 2 interceptions and 13 passes defensed in his four year career. This means that a rushing defense that was twenty eight in the league last year just got a lot better with the best run stopping linebacker that was on the market.