The Buffalo Bills have invested a lot into their pass rush in recent years, but one insider believes it may be the end of the line for one of their slower-developing players.
The Bills used their top draft pick in 2020 (a second-rounder) on defensive end A.J. Epenesa and spent their top two picks the next year on defensive ends Gregory Rousseau and Boogie Basham. They took an even bigger swing last offseason, signing Von Miller to a six-year, $120 million deal.
David De Cristofaro of USA Today’s Bills Wire believes the Bills could cut ties with Basham this offseason, using him as trade bait if they get the opportunity to land a more immediate impact player or trade up in the NFL Draft.
Boogie Basham on the Trade Block?
As De Cristofaro noted, the Bills have had some great successes in developing players under head coach Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The Bills likely have plans to continue developing Basham, but may be willing to trade him if it meant making a clear upgrade at pass rusher.
“[If] there is a clear upgrade available in the 2023 draft, his value as a  second-round selection to another team could make him a trade piece to help fetch a player in return that adds to a position of need for Buffalo, draft capital to add another selection, or to package in a deal to move up in the draft,” De Cristofare wrote, noting that the Bills faced a similar situation with running back Zack Moss and ultimately traded him last season.
Basham has been slower to develop than his fellow 2021 draftee Rousseau. He made two sacks and 19 tackles total tackles last season, adding an interception and a fumble recovery, but was lower in McDermott’s defensive line rotation.
The Bills have shown signs that they want to continue improving their pass rush, meeting with Georgia’s Nolan Smith at the NFL Combine. The Bills will likely need to make a move if they intend on landing Smith. In his recent mock draft, ESPN’s Todd McShay projected pegged him as the “biggest riser of the combine,” moving up to the No. 8 overall pick.
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