BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As the new league year in the NFL is set to begin on Wednesday, so is free agency, meaning the Buffalo Bills will officially be in business as they seek to bolster their roster for a Super Bowl push.
After reportedly clearing cap space through the restructuring of Josh Allen, Von Miller and Stefon Diggs’ contracts, the Bills now have the potential to make some free agent additions, while being under the NFL’s salary cap prior to Wednesday’s 4 p.m. deadline.
With the NFL’s legal tampering period beginning Monday, reports of teams’ contract agreements with free agents will start to flood in before they can be made official Wednesday. Here, you can track all of the Bills offseason moves as they are reported.
Bills free agent signings, re-signings and more
– Re-signed CB Dane Jackson to a one-year contract (March 17)
Cornerback Dane Jackson has re-signed with the Bills on a one-year contract, the team announced. Jackson was a restricted free agent and was tendered with an original round designation on Wednesday, but officially agreed to a deal to return to Buffalo on Friday.
Jackson was a 7th-round draft pick in 2020 and took on a consistent starting role last season. The 26-year-old tallied 12 passes defended and two interceptions in 15 games in 2022.
– Bills release WR Isaiah McKenzie (March 17)
The Bills have released wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie, the team announced. The move saves Buffalo just over $2 million in cap space, according to Spotrac.
McKenzie, who was the Bills’ longest-tenured wide receiver on the active roster prior to his release, tallied his career high in both receptions (42) and receiving yards (423) in the 2022 season. He finished with 137 receptions, 1,316 receiving yards and 15 total touchdowns during his five-year stint in Buffalo. He leaves as one of the team’s most recognizable and seemingly well-liked locker room presences in recent memory.
The signing of WR Deonte Harty to a two-year contract on Thursday cast doubt over the 27-year-old’s status on the roster, as Harty possesses a similar skill set to McKenzie. The former Saints receiver will presumably fill the hole left by McKenzie.
– QB Kyle Allen signs one-year contract with Bills (March 15)
Quarterback Kyle Allen, who is notably good friends with Josh Allen, has signed a one-year deal with the Bills to presumably back up Buffalo’s franchise QB.
Allen, who has been in the league since 2018, spent the 2022 season with the Houston Texans, where he started two games. He lost both of those games, completing 46 of 78 pass attempts, throwing for 416 yards and two touchdowns, while also tossing four interceptions. He has 19 career starts until his belt, 12 of them with the Carolina Panthers in 2019. He is in line to enter camp as the team’s backup quarterback.
– Safety Jordan Poyer re-signs with Bills on two-year deal (March 15)
After speculation he may be gone, safety Jordan Poyer will indeed be back in Buffalo after re-signing with the Bills on a two-year contract, the team announced Wednesday.
Poyer has been a staple of Buffalo’s secondary ever since he first signed with the team in 2017. In regular season games where Poyer played last season, the Bills were 12-0. The only loss Buffalo suffered with the 31-year-old in the lineup was their playoff defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals. He was named to the All-Pro team for the first time in his career in 2021.
In 91 career regular season games as a Bill, Poyer has totaled 22 interceptions and 582 tackles.
With fellow safety Micah Hyde expected be fully healthy for the 2023 season, the duo that have been the foundation of Buffalo’s secondary will get another opportunity to play together, to Poyer’s delight.
– Signed WR Deonte Harty to a two-year contract (March 15)
Josh Allen will have a new weapon: former Saints wide receiver and returner Deonte Harty, who signed a two-year deal with the Bills the team announced.
Harty, formerly Deonte Harris before he changed his last name to honor his step-father, is a receiver that can create separation and stretch the field. He was also an All-Pro selection his rookie year as a punt returner. The 25-year-old had his best year as a receiver in 2021, hauling in 570 yards and three touchdowns on 36 receptions. He was suspended for three games in 2021 stemming from a DUI arrest. A turf toe injury limited the 5-foot-6 receiver’s time on the field in 2022, as he appeared in only four games.
Harty’s two-year contract with the Bills could be worth a maximum of $13.5 million with incentives with $5 million guaranteed. While the deal is for two years, Buffalo can release Harty after 2023 and save nearly $4 million in cap space if they choose to, according to Spotrac.
– Reportedly restructure deal for WR Stefon Diggs (March 14)
The Bills restructured the deal for WR Stefon Diggs, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. It will convert base salary into a bonus and create another $5.4 million in cap space. In September 2022, Diggs signed a four-year, $96 million deal to keep him in Buffalo through the 2027 season. It’s part of several deals the Bills have restructured in an effort to free up more cap space.
– Re-signed LB Tyrel Dodson to a one-year contract (March 14)
The Bills are bringing back linebacker Tyrel Dodson, re-signing the Texas A&M product to a one-year contract, the team announced. Dodson signed with the Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and has appeared in 42 games, largely as a special teams player. He’s started five games in his career, including a Week 11 win over Cleveland last season when he stepped in for an injured Tremaine Edmunds and made 13 tackles.
– Reportedly restructure deals for QB Josh Allen and LB Von Miller (March 13)
The Bills re-structured the deals of Josh Allen and Von Miller in moves that will create approximately $32 million in salary cap space, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. In 2021, Allen signed a six-year, $258 million extension to remain in Buffalo and was set to make $39.7 million in 2023. Meanwhile, Miller signed a six-year, $120 million deal ahead of the 2022 season and was due to make $18.6 million this season. Both of those figures represent base salary and other bonuses.
– Re-signed CB Cam Lewis to a one-year contract (March 13)
Former UB Bull Cam Lewis is returning to Buffalo, providing some depth at the cornerback position. The 25-year-old signed with the Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and has appeared in 25 regular season games, starting four of them.
– Signed G Connor McGovern to a three-year contract (March 13)
The Bills added some help to their offensive line, signing guard Connor McGovern from the Dallas Cowboys. The 25-year-old was a third-round pick in 2019 out of Penn State for the Cowboys and started 29 games in his four years in Dallas, including all 15 he played last season.
McGovern’s three-year contract with the Bills is for $23 million, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
– Re-signed P Sam Martin to a three-year contract (March 13)
There will be no punter controversy in Buffalo this offseason, as the team announced they’re bringing Martin back on a three-year deal. The team brought on Martin following the release of rookie punter Matt Araiza before the start of last season, and the 33-year-old gave the team a quality punting display, averaging 47.7 gross yards per punt which ranked 13th in the NFL.
Martin’s three-year deal could be worth up to $7.15 million, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafalo.
– Re-signed LB Tyler Matakevich to a one-year contract (March 13)
Matakevich first joined the Bills in 2020 and has been a regular on special teams, and he will likely continue to be in 2023. He was also a team captain in both 2021 and 2022.
– Reportedly restructured RB Nyheim Hines’ contract (March 13)
After acquiring Hines at the 2022 trade deadline, the Bills will be keeping the versatile running back at a lowered cap hit. While the deal is not yet official, according to ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg, the restructuring will save the Bills roughly $1.3 million in cap space. The 26-year-old is signed through 2024.
Hines made his mark as a returner during his time in Buffalo last season, including his two kickoff return touchdowns in one game against the Patriots in Week 18. However, an increased role in the offense for Hines in 2023 seems likely.
– Signed LB Matt Milano to a two-year contract extension (March 12)
Milano received his first All-Pro accolade this past season, and he was rewarded with a two-year extension that will keep him in Buffalo through 2026. The move also saves the Bills roughly $6 million in cap space, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Bills players signing with other teams
– LB Tremaine Edmunds signs four-year deal with Chicago Bears (March 13)
Arguably the Bills’ biggest free agent was linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, and he will not be back in Buffalo next season.
Edmunds has officially signed a four-year contract worth $72 million with the Bears. It marks one of the largest contracts for an inside linebacker in the NFL, with $50 million guaranteed as part of the deal.
The 24-year-old was a first-round pick for the Bills in 2018 and has been a staple in the middle of their defense, starting every one of the 74 games he played. He totaled over 100 combined tackles in all five of his seasons in Buffalo and was named to the Pro Bowl twice. It leaves a sizable hole on defense that the Bills will likely look to fill in free agency or the draft.
– QB Case Keenum agrees to two-year deal with Texans (March 13)
The Bills will once again be in the market for a backup quarterback.
Case Keenun has signed a two-year deal with the Houston Texans, potentially throwing himself in the mix for their starting job. Keenum spent just one year in Buffalo while backing up Josh Allen, appearing in two regular season games.