With the 2019 free agency period in full swing, things are heating up at One Bills Drive. To help Bills fans get to know more about new names lining Buffalo’s roster, we present a list of 10 fun facts:
1. Beasley brings the sauce
The football field isn’t the only place that Bills new wide receiver Cole Beasley has been known to spice things up. In fact, the seven-year NFL veteran, whose “saucy feet” touchdown celebration has become legendary, is also bringing some serious flavor to the music scene. A lover of lyrics, the athlete turned rapper and entrepreneur recently created his own record label called “ColdNation Records” and released his first full album called “The Autobiography.” Unsurprisingly for his fans, Beasley’s album reached the top 20 on the iTunes Top New Albums chart for May 2018 – the month that it dropped. To hear what the “Sauce” is cooking up, click here.
2. "Welcome to the Smoke show”
Beasley isn’t the only Bills wideout that’s made a splash during his tenure in the NFL. John Brown, also known as “Smokey,” a nickname that he’s carried with him since birth, sure knows how to pump up a crowd with his quick feet and big-play ability. With quarterback Josh Allen tasked with getting him the ball, Bills fans can expect a warm “Welcome to the Smoke show.”
Click through to see photos of Buffalo's 2019 free agents in Bills gear on their first day at One Bills Drive.
3. Like father, like son
For the last 15 years, running back Frank Gore has worked his magic, giving football fans everywhere a front row seat to watch history in the making. A five-time Pro Bowler, and the NFL’s fourth all-time rushing leader, Gore’s highly celebrated career is one that aspiring NFL athletes look to for inspiration – one of them being his own son, Frank Gore Jr. Following in his father’s footsteps in a major way, Gore Jr. is an elite ball carrier at Killian High School in Miami and as a three-star recruit, has already received scholarship offers from several colleges, including the University at Buffalo. It won’t be long before fans have another Gore to cheer for on Sundays.
For many, the idea of having a twin never loses its appeal. Whether you’re a 90s kid who grew up watching Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movies wishing you had a look-alike to trade places with, or you’re just someone who thinks it would be fun to have a built-in BFF, twins are cool. One person who can speak to what its like to be #twinning is Bills newcomer Spencer Long, who has a twin brother named Jake. Although Spencer and Jake are fraternal, they share similarities and common interests – especially science, the medical field and football, of course.
5. Not all heroes wear capes
Former Kansas City Chiefs center Mitch Morse is a welcomed addition to Buffalo’s offensive line and locker room. Not only is Morse a hero of sorts on the field, he’s also one among his family. When Morse was just four years old, his brother Robbie sustained a life-changing brain injury. From that moment on, Morse was a different person. Helping take care of his brother is something that he’s done without hesitation for over two decades, fueling his passion for community outreach. Nowadays, when he’s not on the field, Morse can often be found giving back in order make a difference for those in need.
6. Never say never
Cornerback Kevin Johnson didn’t always look the part of an NFL player. When he entered high school in his hometown in Maryland, Johnson was just five feet tall and 96 pounds! However, two major growth spurts during his second half of high school put Johnson at six feet and 155 pounds. Despite starting out as one of the smaller guys on his football team, Johnson always showed promise according to his former coach Brian Van Deusen.
“Kevin was really small and short at first, but he always had quickness and agility and hit that late growth spurt as a senior,” he said to the Baltimore Sun."He did it all. He was our main big-play threat."
Excelling throughout college, Johnson was selected in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Texans.
With the 2019 free agency period officially open, here's a look at Buffalo's acquisitions.
7. Defying the odds
Bills free agent signee Jon Feliciano has quite the backstory. Growing up, Feliciano and his family faced much adversity. Despite the circumstances, he was determined to play college football and he had his sights set on the University of Miami. When he was a junior, Feliciano and his high school football coach Rashad West made the 40-minute drive from Davie, Florida, to Miami to deliver the offensive lineman’s highlight tape to a recruiting coach named Tommie Robinson. The bold move paid off when Feliciano received a call from Robinson not long after. Not only did his dream to become a Miami Hurricane come true, Feliciano became the first person in his family to graduate from college.
8. Tyler Kroft: The ender of droughts
The 2017 NFL regular season finale between the Bengals and Ravens will be remembered by Bills fans forever. The stars and the NFL tiebreaker scenarios aligned when Cincy defeated Baltimore 31-27 on a fourth-and-12 touchdown, sending Buffalo to the playoffs for the first time in 17 seasons. While Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver Tyler Boyd are credited with the game-winning score, Bills tight end Tyler Kroft also played a role in the win. With six catches for 53 yards and two touchdowns, Kroft was a key contributor in helping his future team clinch a spot in the AFC Wild Card round – talk about foreshadowing!
9. Andre Roberts the track star
Wide receiver and kick returner Andre Roberts, a former New York Jet, put together a Pro Bowl worthy year in 2018 and is eager to get to work for his new squad. Fans may remember Roberts from matchups over his nine-year career, but what they may not know is that while at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina, he was a track star. In 2003, the speedster helped propel his team to a victory in the state championship and in 2005 he earned All-State recognition.
10. Ty takes the road less traveled
Tackle Ty Nsekhe certainly didn’t walk a traditional path to get to the NFL. Getting his start in the Arena Football League in 2009 playing for the Corpus Christi Sharks, Nsekhe bounced around until he broke into the NFL in 2012 with Indianapolis. After stints with the Colts and the Rams, Nsekhe played for the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes in 2014 and the LA Kiss in 2015. In 2015, Nskehe found his way back to the NFL by way of the Washington Redskins, where he stayed until coming to Buffalo.
All I really wanted was to have the opportunity to become an NFL player. Bills tackle Ty Nsekhe
“All I really wanted was to have the opportunity to become an NFL player,” he told the Daily Herald. “I can’t really tell you what it was, but I just knew I was going to be here. I’m here.”