Will this be their year? The Bills have seemingly been in win-now mode since Josh Allen’s breakout year in the 2020 season. Yet their AFC Championship Run that year was as far as they’ve been in the Beane/McDermott era. The Bills went completely all-in last offseason, signing star pass rusher Von Miller to a six-year, $120 million contract. Miller had just come off a Superbowl ring with the LA Rams. He had the expectations to help push the team over the edge.
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Unfortunately, Miller suffered a season-ending ACL injury, causing the once-dominant Bills pass rush to turn meager in his absence. The Bill’s season ended with an embarrassing loss on their home turf against the Cincinnati Bengals, putting this team at a standstill. The Bills still feel like they’re in third place behind the Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs for the best team in the AFC.
Last year Gabe Davis showed he’s not the true #2 WR everyone thought he was following his 201 yds, 4-TD game against the Chiefs in the playoffs. The Bill’s O-line also had arguably their worst season as a unit since Josh Allen’s rookie season. The team has heavily addressed both areas in the offseason to ensure they can keep up with the high-flying offenses of the AFC.
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Tight End Dalton Kincaid was the team’s first-round pick. He projects to come in immediately and contribute by playing alongside Dawson Knox. He’ll make up for their lack of WR depth outside of Stefon Diggs. Their improvements to the WR room were minimal, but speedster Deonte Harty, 5th-round pick Justin Shorter, and year two improvements for last year’s 5th-rounder Khalil Shakir add much more optimism. They spent a chunk of change signing guard Connor McGovern of the Dallas Cowboys to a 3-year, $27 million contract.
Highly touted guard O’Cyrus Torrence out of Florida fell to them with their second-round pick. He looks to start immediately at RG opposite McGovern. Veteran depth free agents David Edwards (G) and Brandon Shell (RT) help round things out quite nicely. It should be a vastly improved unit. Post-draft free agent additions of Edge Rusher Leonard Floyd and DT Poona Ford add even more depth to an already strong defensive line that will become stronger once Miller returns from injury.
Photo Cred: Florida Gators
The Bills’ most significant offseason loss came in Mike Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds’ departure to the Chicago Bears on a 4-year, $72 million deal. The team will feel Edmunds’ loss next year, but they fully expected it (you can’t pay everybody in this league). They drafted back-to-back 3rd-round Linebackers with Terrel Bernard in 2022 and Dorian Williams in 2023. Both of whom; are expected to step up next season in Edmunds’ absence.
Jordan Poyer was another critical player many Bills fans expected to lose. But the team surprisingly re-signed the all-pro safety to a bargain 2-year, $12 million deal. Poyer’s return, alongside a healthy Micah Hyde, restores the star safety duo. The two are the backbone of the Bills’ defense. Health will be a critical factor determining how far this team will be able to go. There’s no doubt on paper that the Bills are a better team now than they were a year ago.