Maybe patience is a virtue. After cruising through free agency and the draft without inking a starting outside linebacker, the Bills suddenly have a chance to quench their thirst at linebacker right now.
According to ESPN.com’s Tim Graham, Buffalo is bringing in linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa for an interview Wednesday. Tinoisamoa was released by St. Louis last week. The rebuilding Rams are overhauling their entire roster and Tinoisamoa was too small for Steve Spagnuolo’s new scheme.
As mentioned here on the BFR, Tinoisamoa would be a signature signing for the Bills’ defense. Buffalo didn’t add any major, veteran playmakers to a rush defense that finished 22nd in the NFL.
Tinoisamoa is an instant starter that’d anchor the weak side on Buffalo’s defense. His ability to chase down ball-carriers is ideal for Buffalo’s version of the Tampa 2. At 6-foot-1, 240 pounds, Tinoisamoa is nimble enough to handle the open acreage he’d need to in Buffalo’s ‘D.’
Can Buffalo seal the deal? We’ll see. Graham cites one source that said Tinoisamoa is excited about the opportunity of playing for the Bills. It appears to be a perfect marriage from both sides. The undersized Tinoisamoa is best suited for a Cover 2 defense where speed is a premium. One Rams beat writer notes that he played at 220 pounds last season. And conversely, the Bills need a linebacker with Angelo Crowell off to Tampa Bay. Tinoisamoa led the Rams in tackling in four of the last six seasons, including 135 last year.
Buffalo seemed willing to go with Keith Ellison on the weak side. The former sixth-rounder has overachieved. He totaled 73 tackles last year, exceeding any expectations. But he is much better served as a top backup/core special teams player. Buffalo does have Alvin Bowen returning from a season-ending injury and fifth-round pick Nic Harris, but both may be long-term projects.
Tinoisamoa can provide a big impact immediately. We’ll see if anything substantial comes out of this visit. Buffalo has swung and missed on countless visits during free agency – including Laveranues Coles – but this one makes a ton of sense for both parties.
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