Each year there are a crop of veterans who put together that special season. Reasons players might produce that truly productive season include bouncing back from injury, a new opportunity or an increase in responsibility. Here are some veterans to look out for that could have a career year.
WR Cole Beasley
Cole Beasley enters his second season with the Bills after having a memorable first season. Beasley spent seven seasons in Dallas up until he parted ways in 2019 to come to Buffalo. In his first season with the Bills, Beasley was used as an important piece to the offense. The wide receiver hit career highs in two categories —touchdowns and yards per catch. Beasley caught 67 passes for 778 yards, scoring six touchdowns and averaging 11.6 yards per reception.
In 2020, Beasley will be even more of a threat in the slot. Why? He has a year under his belt with Josh Allen. The two will be able to pick up where they left off after taking a season to focus on rhythm and timing. Beasley started in 10 games last season, the most he has started yet in his career. Beasley could see more success due to his new teammate Stefon Diggs. Yes, Diggs will make the entire team better. The former Viking will garner attention from the opposing defense, which will open up the field for other offensive skill players to make plays.
G Jon Feliciano
Right guard Jon Feliciano enters his sixth NFL season this year, and his second year with the Bills. Last season was Felicano's first shot at being a true starter, starting in all 16 games for the Bills. Before 2019, the most games Feliciano started in was four when he played for the Raiders in 2018.
Feliciano could have a career year in 2020 because he has the opportunity to be a solid starter for the second year in a row. The guard played on an offensive line last year that had four new starters, including himself. This year all five starters return to the offensive line. Feliciano has shown he has the skills to be a starting guard; this season he wants to solidify himself as a long-term starter.
S Micah Hyde
Safety Micah Hyde has developed his game in different areas every year he has stepped onto the field. This year marks eight years in the NFL and four seasons with the Bills. In that time, Hyde has become a team leader and a respected voice in the locker room. While last season's stats showed a drop from his career year in 2017, Hyde has potential to have an even better season come Week 1.
It's not just Hyde's fourth season with the Bills, his teammate Jordan Poyer also enters year four. The safety tandem is looked at as one of the best in the league. As they have grown together, their bond on the field allows them to do things that don't show up on the stat sheet but pay off big time. Their relationship is bound to develop even more. Growth at other position groups will also allow Hyde to play at a higher level. The defensive line will be stronger this year, allowing Hyde's job to be easier. The safety has shown in a countless number of ways why he is so important to the Bills, and in year eight he could rewrite his own stat book.
DE Jerry Hughes
Just like Hyde, defensive end Jerry Hughes' efforts didn't always show up on the stat sheet last season. Hughes finished with 4.5 sacks, 20 total tackles, three passes defensed, six tackles for loss and nine quarterback hits. As the defensive line room welcomes many new faces, Hughes is primed to have what could be a career year.
Hughes is known for attracting the double team because of his talent level. Mario Addison, new defensive end, should take some of the attention off of Hughes. When Hughes has the ability to be in one-on-one matchups, most of the time he's going to find a way to the quarterback. This season with some new faces on the line and a focus to pressure the quarterback even more, Hughes can shine as he enters year 11.
TE Tyler Kroft
Tyler Kroft has many reasons why he could have an unforgettable year. In 2019, Kroft wasn't dealt the best cards. Kroft broke his foot in May and missed the first seven weeks of the season. The tight end played a total of 11 games and started in three during his first season with the Bills.
It can only go up from here for Kroft, right? I hope so. The football gods deserve to give the tight end a healthy season. During his time with the Bengals, Kroft confirmed he can be a difference maker on offense. In 2017, Kroft totaled 42 receptions for 404 yards and scored seven touchdowns. The tight end's contract was restructured during offseason making this season a prove it year. Couple Kroft's talent level with the pressure this season to earn his keep, I think it's the perfect combination for a career year.
CB Josh Norman
Josh Norman has the makings of what could be a year Bills fans want to remember. He's reuniting with his former defensive coordinator from Carolina in Sean McDermott. It's a defense Norman knows, and a defense he excelled in from 2012 to 2015 with the Panthers. If there's anyone who can get the most out of Norman, it's McDermott.
Norman will face competition during his first camp with the Bills as he battles for the right corner spot. The corner will enter this season hungry and ready to compete. If he can reproduce the type of season he produced in Carolina, where he totaled six interceptions and 30 passes defensed in 2014 and 2015, Norman is bound to have a great season.