Bills Trade Brewing After Flurry of Moves?

The Buffalo Bills are circling the transactional wagons and then some, keeping busy during a rare lazy period on the NFL calendar.

Buffalo brought in previous top 10 pick Leonard Floyd from the Los Angeles Rams this week, pairing him with ex-Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler.

Many believe that the Bills aren't done yet, as they've been hypothetically linked to lingering offensive free agent stars like Dalvin Cook and DeAndre Hopkins.

Landing one of those playmakers, however, will require some financial maneuvering: Buffalo is working with just over $5.4 million in cap space, which ranks 27th in the NFL.

Entering the Cook/Hopkins sweepstakes could lead to a trade of an established Western New York veteran or two, especially considering the lofty salary expectations of the pair.

Even if securing their services wasn't a priority, Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic noted that late offseason trades are hardly out of the ordinary in the Brandon Beane era:

Beane's teams have made six trades in late August (last year's sacrifice was Cody Ford)

Buscaglia compiled a list of the most likely late departures, focusing more on late draft cabinet bolstering rather than the idea of landing Cook or Hopkins.

The most realistic, he claims, would be defensive lineman Boogie Basham, whose fate might've been written long before fellow edge man Floyd showed up.

"Of all the potential candidates, Basham seems like the most realistic," Buscaglia writes. "He would have been considered before the Bills signed Leonard Floyd,

but now with an established veteran pass rusher, something has to give with the defensive ends.

Buffalo has six players who could make the 53-man roster at defensive end, but it’s quite unlikely all six will get there."

Basham has mostly disappointed since coming to Orchard Park since arriving as a second-round pick in the 2021 draft (especially considering All-Pro

and Super Bowl champion Creed Humphrey went to Kansas City two picks later).At 25, there he may have just enough upside to convince another team to try to fix him at the cost of a Saturday draft pick.

"Basham has provided some good flashes now and again," Buscaglia says. "Still, there isn’t a level of consistency to his game,

and it almost seems like he’s a tweener with a game better suited to the interior but a body frame that dictates he should be rushing from the outside."

"Basham will also have some of the most appeal to other teams on this list. He has some flashes on film, he was a 2021 second-round pick,

and he has another year left on his rookie deal through 2024. The Bills will see what Basham shows this summer,

but if they feel like he’s not going to crack their rotation in 2023, holding him and making him a healthy scratch on game days could zap any remaining trade value."

Trading Basham after June 1 would save the Bills a paltry $1.17 million in cap space, but it might be better to get something for Basham now when he's at his highest value by far.

Of those listed on Buscaglia's list, interior blocker Ryan Bates would give the Bills the best cap savings at $3.9 million,

but it's admitted that "the odds are in favor of Bates being in Buffalo" next season. 

The most controversial entry is cornerback Kaiir Elam, Buffalo's first-round pick from the 2022 draft, though that's more of a worst-case scenario than a legitimate case for dealing.

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