The upcoming offseason is about addressing a couple of areas rather than making drastic changes. Check out the Bills’ top priorities ahead of the 2023 campaign.
Still, Sunday’s NFL Playoff loss felt colossal all things considered, Bills Mafia craving its first Super Bowl trophy in the NFL era. In the words of running back Devin Singletary: “[It’s] sick. Just sick.”
There isn’t much to dramatize here. Buffalo lost. It was the heavy favorite to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy before the season even started.
In 2021, it was Patrick Mahomes‘ 13-second drive that killed the dream. In the 2022 season, it was a horrid 10-point performance against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. In 2023, it’s about fine-tuning a couple of areas and understanding that this team doesn’t need to revamp its entire roster. It needs to build on what it has and cover up just a few minor holes.
Let’s take a look at how the Buffalo Bills can do that and who they need to prioritize moving forward.
On The Books
Let’s reiterate the main point: The Bills don’t need to do anything overly dramatic to be in the conversation in 2023.
“I don’t think there’s any one thing that pops out immediately, but that’s why it’s an important question because it’ll take some digging to get to the bottom of it,” TE Dawson Knox said. “But I think I’m speaking for the whole locker room when I say that we have faith in the people who will try to fix the problems.”
- QB Josh Allen: 6 years, $258,034,000
- Allen has an out in 2026; UFA in 2029.
- Stefon Diggs: 4 years, $96,000,000
- Diggs has an out after the 2024, UFA in 2026.
- DE Von Miller: 6 years, $120,000,000
- Miller has an out after the 2024 season; UFA in 2028.
- CB Tre’Davious White: 4 years, $69,000,000
- White has an out after the 2024 season; UFA in 2026.
- LT Dion Dawkins: 4 years, $58,300,000
- Dawkins is an UFA in 2025.
- FS Jordan Poyer: If you value toughness, then Poyer is your guy. He played through a hyperextended elbow in camp, fractured two ribs, and played with a torn meniscus. He is absolutely crucial to Buffalo’s stifling defense — boasting a 13-1 record in games he started this season.
- The 31-year-old is projected to earn roughly $11 million in the open market — and he might not be back.
- LB Tremaine Edmunds: The 24-year-old allowed only 4.9 yards per target while boasting a 71.2 passer rating in coverage. That’s tough to come by in a pass-heavy NFL.
- Edmunds’ market value projects him to land an annual average salary of $11 million — seventh among ILBs in the NFL.
- RB Devin Singletary: The 25-year-old back is solid, but he might not be what the Bills need from an RB1. Head coach Sean McDermott seemed to defer to backup James Cook in the second half of the season, and the team acquired Nyheim Hines at the trade deadline. Potential safety nets?
- Singletary’s projected market value is around $5.5 million per year.
“I’d love to be back here,” Singletary said. “I love Buffalo, but it’s a business. So, see how it plays out.”
- WR Gabriel Davis: There’s nothing fancy about Davis, but he’s seemingly always there when Allen needs him. He was his second favorite target after Diggs with seven TDs on the year.
- The 23-year-old will earn more than $1 million in 2023 with the market value projecting him to land a contract in the neighborhood of $12 million per year.
- Active contracts: $231,453,673
- Dead cap money: $1,654,690
- Total salary cap usage: $233,108,363
- Salary cap space: -$6,419,279
Singletary, Cook, and Hines aren’t bad options, but if the Bills are serious about improving their run game to help open up the passing game, then they’ll need to look at some free-agent options at RB. Some names worth keeping an eye on:
Given Buffalo’s cap situation, it might be difficult for them to nab a big name — unless they lose guys like Poyer and/or Edmunds. In any event, the most feasible option is for them to re-sign most of their own free agents and continue finding talent in the draft. An upgrade in the backfield would be nice, but is it needed? Maybe not.
Furthermore, the team had its own mental and emotional obstacles to overcome after Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field in Week 17. Few care to give compassion and empathy when their fandom takes over, but at some point, the tank runs out and guys are worn out beyond the physicality.
“It was emotionally draining for obvious reasons, you guys all saw that,” OL Rodger Saffold continued. ” I have to kind of put that into a factor, not as an excuse. This team has been fighting for so long and fighting through all this adversity, you run out of gas at some point.”
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