Buffalo added a total of six free agents to their roster over the last two days. A pair of fullbacks, a kicker, swing guard and a pair of safeties. Here are five strengths the new collection of talent brings to the Bills roster.
1 - Versatility
This is chiefly in the form of the signing of defensive back
The fourth-year DB has played both strong and free safety and has a healthy amount of experience as a nickel corner. That level of versatility will help defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier enormously in his subpackages this fall.
And oh by the way if special teams coordinator Danny Crossman needs help on returns. He’s got over 100 returns in his NFL career.
2 - Double edged sword
For the first time in a while the Bills have a kicker with a big leg. What does that mean? It means
In previous years Buffalo took up a pair of roster spots with a kicker and a kickoff specialist.
3 - Leadership
“Just the ability to run the defense and be that quarterback in the secondary was big for us,” said head coach Sean McDermott.
Tolbert’s leadership represents a veteran presence in the offensive backfield and potentially on special teams as well.
“I had the chance to be around Mike for a number of years in Carolina and I know what he brings to the table in terms of leadership, intangibles and what happens in that locker room on Monday through Saturda,” McDermott said.
4 - Playoff pedigree
Between FB Pat DiMarco, FB Mike Tolbert, K Stephen Hauschka, S Micah Hyde and G
Hyde has been on a perennial playoff contender in Green Bay. Ducasse reached the postseason in Minnesota in 2015. DiMarco was part of Atlanta’s run to the Super Bowl last season. Tolbert was part of Carolina’s run to the NFC title in 2015. And Stephen Hauschka has kicked in two Super Bowls and won a championship.
5 - Line depth
Vladimir Ducasse is a player that has admittedly bounced around the last few years in the league, but offensive line coach Juan Castillo worked with Ducasse last year in Baltimore. He clearly had input in bringing him to Buffalo.
6 - Specialists
Not counting Hauschka, the Bills added four players who have special teams experience. DiMarco, Hyde, Poyer and Tolbert have all worked on return and coverage units in their NFL careers.
The fact is there were holes to fill not only on offense and defense with all of the expiring contracts on Buffalo’s roster, but special teams as well.
That need was effectively addressed with most of Buffalo’s player agreements Thursday.