By Mark Gaughan
The Buffalo BIlls could give their defense a big boost and give themselves some needed draft flexibility if they can reach a deal with free-agent linebacker Karlos Dansby.
The Bills announced this morning Dansby is in town for a visit. He's a 31-year-old, nine-year NFL veteran who has been an impact linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins released him in March, although he started the previous three seasons for them.
Dansby can play inside or outside linebacker. If he came to terms with the Bills, then he would step in immediately as a starting inside linebacker. But he also could back up at outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense, and the Bills need some security behind outside starters Mario WIlliams and Manny Lawson. Currently, Arthur Moats probably ranks as the top backup to Lawson on the strong side of the defense.
The Bills enter the draft with needs at quarterback, receiver, guard, cornerback, strong-side linebacker, tight end and perhaps safety. That's seven spots. They have six picks.
The Dolphins released Dansby in order to get younger at linebacker. They made a high-profile addition by signing Dannell Ellerbe from the Baltimore Ravens. Dansby, however, has been a big nuisance to the Bills' offense in games against the Dolphins over the past three seasons.