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NFL Notes: Bills, Bengals, Saints, Chiefs, Bears, Raiders


Jason Cole reports that the Saints are currently working on restructuring the contract DE Will Smith. Cole adds that they’re progressing, but there’s nothing official as of now.

Earlier in the week, Cole mentioned that Smith would have to take a “big reduction in salary” to be back.

Smith, 31, has a staggering base salary of $9 million coming his way, along with a $1 million roster bonus, so it makes sense that New Orleans would ask him to reduce those figures. I’m still not sure how Smith fits into their new 3-4 defense, but they apparently believe he’s worth retaining at the right price.


Jason Cole is “hearing” that the Bengals have already had some discussions with DE Carlos Dunlap‘s reps regarding a contract extension.

Dunlap, 23, has been great for the Bengals’ defense since being taken out Florida. He’s already produced 20.5 sacks in his first three seasons and will be entering the final year of his rookie contract.

Cincinnati would like to retain DE Michael Johnson this offseason and could end up franchising him in the next few days. Locking the two of them, along with DT Geno Atkins, up long-term could give them one of the best defensive fronts in the league for the foreseeable future.

We’ll have to see how things go in the next few weeks before we have a better of idea of whether or not they’ll be able get Dunlap’s contract taken care of.


Jason Cole reports that the Buffalo Bills are not expected to tender restricted free agent WR David Nelson.

He is expected to be healthy.

Nelson suffered a torn ACL back in Week 1, but is expected to be healthy in time for the OTAs. Reports have indicated that they’re prepared to non-tender WR Donald Jones as well, which is a pretty clear indication that they’re prepared to revamp their receiver corps this offseason.


Chiefs GM John Dorsey mentioned that they’ve had “ongoing communications” impending free agent LT Branden Albert.

“He is one of a few free agents that we have that we’ve been in ongoing communication with his representatives,” said Dorsey, via the Kansas City Star. “It will be an ongoing communication with his representatives and as we get into free agency, we will see where that is.”

On the subject of draft strategy Dorsey mentioned that he subscribes to the “best-available player philosophy.

Albert was a college guard, but Dorsey also indicated he views the 28-year-old as a left tackle, long term. “It will be an ongoing communication with his representatives,” said Dorsey, “and as we get into free agency, we will see where that is.” The Chiefs remain concerned with Albert’s 2012 back injury.


Bears GM Phil Emery wouldn’t say specifically where Gabe Carimi will play next season.

“I’m sure that will take all the way through camp to find his exact position,” said Emery, via the Chicago Sun-Times.

Carimi’s position could be decided after they decide whether or not to retain impending free agent G Lance Louis, who is coming off of a torn ACL.

Surprisingly, Carimi was more effective as a guard than as a right tackle. He really needs to develop into a more consistent player if he’s going to get his career turned around and eventually live up to his draft status.


Raiders head coach Dennis Allen told reporters on Friday that he expects Michael Huff to stay at safety despite playing four games at cornerback in 2013.

“At the end of the day, his natural fit is at safety,” said Allen, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “But I think he’ll do anything we need him to do to give us a chance to be successful.” 

Huff is a better fit at safety, but the Raiders financial situation has forced them to get creative with their personnel. GM Reggie McKenzie mentioned that they’re considering moving RB Taiwan Jones to cornerback next season.

Clearly, the upcoming draft will be huge for Oakland as they continue the rebuilding process. It’s also a pretty safe bet that they grab at least one corner in the upcoming draft.

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