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Why Jordan Poyer feels happy and at home in Buffalo, wants to finish his career with the Bills

Jordan Poyer, Buffalo Bills free agent signing, March 16, 2023 at One Bills Drive.
Jordan Poyer, Buffalo Bills free agent signing, March 16, 2023 at One Bills Drive.

Bills safety Jordan Poyer wasn't exactly ready to put his Buffalo playing days in the past. That's a big reason why the All-Pro inked a two-year deal to stay with the team that's meant so much to him and his growth in the NFL.

"I knew that this is where I wanted to be," Poyer said shortly after he signed. "I knew that this is where I wanted to play and that these are my people. I've been here six years. I love it here."

Poyer was feeling the love as he walked around One Bills Drive and was greeted by several familiar faces. The safety said the last month has been stressful not knowing where he would end up, but he wanted the chance to test the market.

"I was seeing what else was out there, and there wasn't anything out there that I would have been happy about going to do," Poyer explained.

Ultimately, the decision came down to Poyer's happiness.

"It came down to what I thought was gonna make me happy and what I thought was gonna be best for myself and my family moving forward, not just in my career but in in life," Poyer shared. "I don't know how many more years I have left to play. I have this year guaranteed that I'm gonna be able to play football and be able to play at a high level."

General manager Brandon Beane said he had hope that Poyer may return, but the deal didn't come together until Wednesday.

"Glad to get him back and re-pair him with Micah (Hyde)," Beane said. "He's a leader, he's a dog. He brings an edge to our defense, and he can take the ball away."

For six seasons, Poyer has been forcing turnovers in a Bills uniform. During his first season with Buffalo, Poyer posted five interceptions and 13 passes defensed. That was really just the beginning for the safety.

Since 2017, Poyer is the only NFL player to have at least 500 tackles (568), 20 interceptions (22) and 10 sacks over that time span.

Someone who has been with Poyer in Buffalo since day one is safety Micah Hyde. The two combined for 10 interceptions during the 2021 season, which was the most out of any safety tandem in the NFL.

"Just to hear the happiness that he had in his voice, knowing that I was coming back," Poyer said of when he called Hyde to tell him the good news. "It was kind of like it took stress off of the both of us."

Poyer said Hyde was the first person he called when he found out he was staying in Buffalo. He believes "the best safety tandem in the NFL" have some unfinished business.

"I remember talking to Micah, it wasn't the first time I met him but the first time we saw each other in Buffalo," Poyer said of their conversation from 2017. "I was like, 'Bro, we are going to turn this city around and we're going to give this city a championship.' And that's been our goal since we got here, and it hasn't changed. That was another reason why I wanted to come back because I truly want to help this team win a championship. I truly believe that we do have the right team to do that."

That's another reason why Poyer couldn't play elsewhere—he couldn't leave behind the talent level of his teammates and the relationship he has built with them over the years.

"We still got some dogs on this team," Poyer exclaimed. "We're going to get Von (Miller) back. That's just going to make our team even better. Matt Milano, the best outside linebacker in the game, and you've got the best safety duo in the game. 

"And you've got, I believe, one of the best corners in the game. When healthy, I bet you Tre's (White) going to come back better than he's ever been before."

Check out the best photos from Buffalo Bills Free Agency 2023 as players sign their contracts, meet with the media and tour the Bills facility.

The former seventh round pick out of the 2013 NFL Draft still believes his crew has a lot left in their tanks. Even though last season was riddled with injuries, Poyer looks back on 2022 and believes he is a better man and player because of everything the team went through.

"Last year was probably the hardest year I've probably ever had to go through, mentally and physically," Poyer shared. "When Micah (Hyde) went down, it was really hard. That's my right-hand man. And then, you're playing with – just it almost seemed like a different lineup all the time. And then dealing with the injuries that I was dealing with on top of that… it was a lot of pressure, it was a lot of stress. But at the same time, I wouldn't have changed it at all."

Poyer knows there will be some change this season without Leslie Frazier calling the defensive plays, but he thinks his teammates will be able to bounce back.

"Frazier's somebody who gave me a lot of trust and gave me a lot of confidence in myself," Poyer said of what Frazier has done for his NFL career. "He will definitely be missed, but he'd be one of the first to tell you this is a business and the NFL train is going to keep running whether you're here or not. And we're going to have to figure out ways, and I have no doubts. We have some great players on our team, Sean (McDermott) is still a helluva defensive coordinator, a helluva defensive coach, defensive-minded coach and we added some new pieces and some very smart coaches that are coming in that I'm excited to work with moving forward."

The 11-year veteran is also thrilled to come into 2023 feeling completely healthy.

"I still feel like I have some of my best ball ahead of me," Poyer said. "I still feel like I'm going to be playing at a very high level this next year. And I feel like I'm going to help this team win a lot of football games."

Thinking of doing that, Poyer couldn't wipe the grin off his face. It's easy to see why the guy who came in during McDermott's first season is so elated to be back.

"Being here with the guys that I'm here with, being here in the community, a community I've grown to love, and just seeing all the people in here today, I can damn near start crying," Poyer shared. "Because you see all the people in here you built a relationship with over the last six years and just how excited they are to have you back in the building. It's pretty special."

And at the age of 31, Poyer knows where he wants to spend the rest of his NFL career.

"I'm home now and this is where I'm going to finish my career, and I'm really excited about that."

Check out the best photos from Buffalo Bills Free Agency 2023 as players sign their contracts, meet with the media and tour the Bills facility.

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