The Buffalo Bills fell short of Super LV in 2020-2021, falling to the Chiefs in game that seemed evenly matched at first before quickly going downhill.
Now, the Bills are in the market to improve their AFC Championship game-level team, and former Bills Hall-of-Fame Andre Reed is leading the charge.
Reed, who’s been following Sean McDermott‘s team closely in recent years (most notably comparing Josh Allen and his favorite receiver to another all-time great duo), thinks he knows what the “missing piece” is for next year’s team: a top tier pass rushing threat, in this case the former Wisconsin Badgers legend and multiple-team defensive player of the year, J.J. Watt.
Watt recently said that he wants to leave the Houston Texans because he’s not interested in another rebuilding project, and Reed thinks that J.J. could find his next home in the Queen City.
… @jjwatt bro Buffalo is calling. We got a more than great team, more than great fans, great buffalo wings, great waterfall , great pizza and blue cheese …
The missing piece is a great pass rusher to go with our other guys. You available to chat ?? #billsmafia #nfl #jjwatt pic.twitter.com/eq8xiwjUdZ
— Andre Reed (@Andre_Reed83) February 13, 2021
Andre is Right: Bills Must Shore Up Pass Rush
While the Bills’ defense was serviceable last season, ranking 16th in total defense, it’s clear that something must be done about the pass rush, which is average at best.
With Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs standing in the way of a possible Super Bowl appearance and perhaps even a Lombardi Trophy, Watt could bring a much needed threat off the edge who can also be dominant in the run game if healthy.
Buffalo had 38 sacks last year to go along with 143 pressures, good for an advanced defensive rating of 22% in terms of numbers of pressures.
In 2020, Watt showed he still has a lot left in the tank despite his extensive injury history, putting up five sacks and 14 tackles for loss while starting all 16 games.
Watt is still only 31 years old, turning 32 in March, and with Tom Brady‘s recent success showing that the right diet and training routine can extend careers, there’s a strong possibility that J.J. could have even more Pro Bowl caliber years ahead of him.
He also seems to be motivated by the emergence of his brother T.J. Watt in Pittsburgh.
The top destinations rumored for J.J. Watt include the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Baltimore Ravens, but landing the five-time All-Pro could shift the balance of power in the AFC for Buffalo, a team that could use more leaders and difference makers with something to prove.
While Reed’s endorsement is likely to help, Watt’s brother has also joined in on the recruiting pitch, while reminding the world of J.J.’s all-time great status despite his injury history.
Go look at the stats. People seem to forget. https://t.co/vF6UL2XjXL
— TJ Watt (@_TJWatt) January 30, 2021
Needless to say this is one free agent saga the entire world will be watching, and one that could have a dramatic impact on Buffalo’s 2020 Super Bowl hopes.