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8 fun facts about Bills 2020 free agency class


Although we're less than a week into the free agency period, there's already been plenty of national buzz surrounding Buffalo's moves. Here we look under the helmet to present eight fun facts:

1. Super Mario

At 6-3, 260 pounds, defensive end Mario Addison is hard to miss. His large stature isn't the only thing that's come to captivate those around him, though. Addison's story, one riddled with hardships and unbearable heartache, has proven inspiring for many. Growing up in the inner city in Birmingham, Alabama, the NFL veteran was faced with adversity at a young age. Defying the odds, Addison not only earned a spot on the Troy University football team, he realized his dream when he was signed by the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2011. A self-made success, Addison now makes it a point to give back to the community that shaped him into the man he is today.

Through his foundation, the Mario Addison Community Partnership, the defender provides youth in Birmingham and around the country with opportunities that they may not receive otherwise. From hosting youth football camps to treating kids to shopping sprees, Addison has shown time and again how big his heart is.

"I was once them," Addison said to "I do it to show them that somebody cares. I really care."

2. "Big Vern" in the building

Addison isn't the only "big guy" the Bills targeted this year in free agency. Defensive tackle Vernon Butler goes by the nickname "Big Vern," and it's not hard to see why. The 6-4, 330-pound, Louisiana Tech product, was a force on the field in 2019 and a giant headache for his opposition. According to Butler's father, Vernon Butler Sr., his son has been an uncontested playmaker since he was in elementary school.

"When he was in Pee Wee, he was dominating. He was playing D-tackle when he was in the fifth grade," Butler Sr. told Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. "He was lighting (running backs) up. They'd go the other way."

3. Diggin' the fresh threads

Long before he played a starring role in the 2018 "Minnesota Miracle," Stefon Diggs has garnered national attention. Throughout his tenure in the NFL, the 2015 fifth-round draft pick has established himself as a premier wide receiver, with no shortage of stats to prove it. Fans have also noticed, over the years, that the 26-year-old from Gaithersburg, Maryland, has a serious knack for fashion. His zeal for creating noteworthy ensembles has been part of his identity since he was just a kid.

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Perspective ....

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"[In elementary school] I never wanted to wear what my mom wanted me to," he said in an interview with Leah Faye Cooper of "I would hide clothes in my backpack, so I didn't have to [laughs]. Middle school is when I started to pick out everything by myself. Not having a lot of money was hard, but I always wanted to look nice. My close friends and I used to share clothes. If I didn't have something, I'd be like, 'Can I borrow that jacket, bro?' None of us had a lot, but we all had something, so we'd piece things together."

Using his wardrobe to express himself, Diggs is constantly turning heads with his unique clothing combinations. It's not just his personal style that fans find impressive, however. The man known for his "toe-drag swag," is also accustomed to jazzing up his uniform with one-of-kind cleats, showcasing his dynamic personality. As he trades in his Vikings attire for a fresh look, it will be fun to see Diggs in his new threads.

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Stefon Diggs is a Buffalo Bill. 😱

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4. Jefferson: "Party of 6"

When he's not playing football, it's safe to assume that defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson is spending time with his family. A devoted husband, Jefferson and his wife Nadia have four children: three girls (including a set of twins) and a boy. Although living in a full house can complicate even the simplest tasks, it's not without it's upside. As chronicled on Nadia's blog, "Jefferson Party of 6" the family has their fair share of adventures. To follow along with the Jefferson family, see the defensive tackle’s Instagram account.

Scroll through to view the latest updates on Buffalo's reported additions to the roster through free agency.

5. Keeping up with the Joneses

Surely Bills fans recognize the name Taiwan Jones. The veteran running back spent 2017-18 in Buffalo, where he was a regular contributor on special teams. The nine-year pro is certainly no stranger to hard work – a critical lesson that he learned prior to his days in the NFL. In fact, Jones's first job in college was on a farm, where he was tasked with herding cows and spreading hay.

"It was one of my summer jobs, and I'll never forget it," said Jones to "They wake me up early in the morning, about four in the morning. They drive me out to the middle of nowhere. The first thing they did was they open this big fence and there was like a hundred cows and bulls…"

No easy feat, Jones adapted to his new environment, and learned a few things in the process.

6. Family over everything

For linebacker AJ Klein and his loving wife Taylor, family is everything. So, it wasn't long after they tied the knot in January of 2018, that the Kleins decided they were ready to take the next steps in starting one of their own. Just nine months later, in October, the happy couple announced on Instagram that they were starting the adoption process. Then, as it often does, life threw them a curveball.

"We actually found out we were pregnant the day after Thanksgiving [2018] on a Friday. And the following Wednesday, I get a call from our social worker, well, a missed call. I called her back and she told me about his birth mother," said Taylor Klein to Christina Watkins of WDSU News.

Before they new it, the Kleins went from a pair to a team of four! Their son Cannon James was born on Jan. 25, 2019, and their daughter Bowie Rose was welcomed to the world on July 27, 2019. Feeling extremely blessed, the couple often shares their adorable family adventures on their social media accounts.

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Happy Halloween!

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7. Puppy love

Linebacker Tyler Matakevich may be intimidating on the field, but he has given fans a glimpse of his softer side too. After taking part in a photo shoot at a Pittsburgh Humane Animal Rescue shelter for the NFL's "My Cause My Cleats" program, Matakevich quickly realized his passion for helping animals. While at the center, the defender instantly fell in love with a playful puppy, a Labrador/retriever mix, who he is now lucky enough to call his best friend.

"I walked into the room and there were about five or six puppies, all black labs," said Matakevich to "They gave me one. Within 10 minutes she just fell asleep right in my arms. I was like, wow you set me up. I can't give her back. That happened on a Friday, my girlfriend picked her up on Saturday and I had her on a Sunday."

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It’s my best friend’s birthday🎂

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8. An offseason overseas

It's been a busy offseason for Josh Norman. Like many other NFL players do during their break, the cornerback linked up with a fellow athlete to condition. However, Norman's workout routine has been far from ordinary. While in Israel – a country that he's traveled to several times – Norman and former teammate Adrian Petersen trained with the Israeli Defense Force. To learn the ropes, the pair even participated in Krav Maga lessons at the Wingate Institute in Netanya, Israel.

"It's amazing to get in there and train with these guys because they are at the top of their game at being in combat," Norman told FOX News.

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