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Leonard Floyd's first day, Damar Hamlin a full practice participant | OTA Week 3 Notebook


The Bills were back at it Tuesday for the final week of OTAs and there was plenty to talk about. The team introduced a brand new defensive signing, Ed Oliver spoke about his contract extension and another positive update on Damar Hamlin emerged. 

Here are the top storylines to know from Week 3 of Bills OTAs.

Floyd ready to take on 'big dog' role, then share it

Leonard Floyd arrived in Orchard Park Tuesday morning for his first day as a Buffalo Bill. The veteran edge rusher signed his contract before practice, then took the field with his new teammates as the Bills continued Week 3 of OTAs.

The no. 1 motivating factor that led Floyd — a player who has 29 total sacks since 2020 — to Buffalo: a winning culture.

"It's very special, man. It's the opportunity, man. Got to seize the moment type, especially. It's something you can't pass up," he shared.

Floyd played for the Los Angeles Rams for the last three seasons and was one of the key pieces of the team's Super Bowl-winning defense where he played alongside current Bill Von Miller in 2021.

After Miller was traded from Denver to L.A. midway through the 2021 season, he and Floyd combined for 12 sacks. The pair of edge rushers often lined up on opposite sides of the defensive front and found sustained success in doing so — particularly in the Super Bowl where they combined for three sacks in the victory.

To have that similar potential production in Buffalo was appealing to both Floyd and the Bills' staff.

"My take on this defense is a special defense, especially after watching it last year with Von. This is a defense you want to be a part of," Floyd said.

Added Bills GM Brandon Beane: "We also got to get to the other quarterback, get him off the spot. Even if you're not sacking them, affecting them, hurrying throws things like that…I think our guys will all rise up, adding another guy like Leonard Floyd."

Beane detailed after Tuesday's OTA that the team had been in contact with Floyd and his agent throughout various points of the offseason, but the two sides reconnected within the last few weeks to feel out the potential for a signing.

After hearing the pitch from Beane, Floyd was sold on the opportunity in Buffalo.

With the timetable on Miller's return still up in the air, Floyd could potentially take on a significant role early in the season. Until the other star pass rusher is able to return, Floyd believes he's ready to be an immediate contributor to Buffalo's defense that ranked 2nd in points allowed but 13th in sacks.

"I'll be a big dog 'till the big dog comes back," Floyd said, referring to Miller. "And then we'll share it."

Oliver calls signing extension "surreal"

DT Ed Oliver inked a four-year contract extension this week, securing his future in Buffalo.

Oliver would have entered the 2023 on the final year of his rookie deal, but the Bills front office wanted to make sure they committed long-term to a valuable piece of the defensive front.

"We've invested in him through four years and his best football is ahead of him," Beane said. "And it's on him and us to continue to develop him to be one of those top players."

The GM shared that he had been in contact with Oliver early in the offseason that they wanted to get an extension done at some point during the offseason; it was just figuring out the best timing for it.

With training camp just over a month away, the team offered Oliver a four-year extension, a deal the 2019 first-round pick said was a blessing to be able to sign.

"Me and Beane talked and this was right around the time he said we would get something done. I just trusted what he told me and went about normal business. Worked out everyday and just came up here and things like that and we got the deal done," Oliver said.

Admittedly, Oliver said 2022 wasn't his best season as he worked through multiple injuries. While not making excuses, Oliver said he learned valuable lessons along the way that he hopes propels his production to higher levels in 2023.

"It just showed me that no matter literally what can happen you will be alright you can persevere through whatever," he said. "I think I can be just as dominant as any d-tackle in the league."

With contract talks out of the way, Oliver is just now thinking about being able to show out in front of Bills Mafia this season and in future seasons.

"I can't even put it into words like how special this place is," Oliver said. "I just love this place."

Hamlin fully participating in practice

Bills safety Damar Hamlin was a full participant in Tuesday's practice as he had a helmet on and was able to go through team drills. 

"Really proud of him to take that next step." Beane said. "He put the helmet on the last practice last week and texted his parents afterward. Just so proud of him and thrilled for where he's at in his journey. He's still got more milestones to hit."

Beane elaborated on the next milestones ahead and said that live contact is one of the next goals for Hamlin. Both Hamlin and the team hope that can happen during training camp.

"We'll continue to ramp him up with helmets on. But that'll be probably the next big hurdle for him, tackling," Beane shared.

Check out the Bills as they participate in practice at One Bills Drive on Tuesday, June 6.