ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Here’s the first in a series of pressing questions facing the Buffalo Bills before they open training camp on July 23 at St. John Fisher College.
Question: Does Jordan Poyer hold out if he doesn’t receive a contract extension before or when camp opens?
Answer: No. Poyer showed up for mandatory minicamp last month because he didn’t want to pay the roughly $90,000 fines he could have been fined for an unexcused absence. He isn’t likely to have any desire to pay the $50,000 daily fine that players who are not on rookie contracts must pay for avoiding camp.
My sense is the Bills and Poyer’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, will work to reach an agreement before or when players are due to hit the field in Pittsford. However, if that isn’t the case but the sides are still negotiating, I suspect Poyer would be there, at least watching from the sidelines.
I believe this deal is getting done at some point either later this month or in the preseason. So far, there has been no indication of bad blood flowing from either direction. As long as that continues to be true, an extension remains within reach.
Question: What will the cornerback situation look like when camp begins?
Answer: Muddled. The Bills aren’t going to have a good handle on where Tre’Davious White is in his return from the major knee injury he suffered on Thanksgiving night until practices commence.
The medical and athletic training staffs will continue to monitor his progress, seeing not only how well he’s able to move but how much confidence he shows in his surgically repaired knee when it comes to all of the twisting and turning he does. There no doubt will be an abundance of caution, with efforts made to protect White from himself as he likely will be eager to show he’s back to his standout form.
Like it or not, patience will continue to be the message he hears.
Meanwhile, the Bills also will have plenty of opportunity to see what they have in the next two players on the cornerback depth chart: Dane Jackson and first-round draft pick Kaiir Elam. I think Jackson will make a solid case to hold down a starting spot, either in place of White or opposite him. He was a solid replacement for him through the second half of last season and the playoffs.
Elam is more of a wild card. The coaches liked what they saw of him in offseason workouts, but now want to see how he responds to the increased tempo of camp workouts.
The greatest uncertainty with Elam is showing he can deal with a regular dose of press-man coverage, something he wasn’t often asked to do at Florida, while going against top-level receivers Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis.