Free agent safety Robert Blanton signed with the Buffalo Bills today.
The former Minnesota Vikings safety, Robert Blanton, was the first defensive player to make a free agent visit to Buffalo this offseason. Primarily, this is because it’s hard to attract talented players to come visit when you don’t have the salary cap space to pay them their fair market value.
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Due to these salary cap restraints, Buffalo would be better off restocking the defensive players that they lost this offseason in the draft rather than in free agency. However, that didn’t stop them from signing Blanton to a contract today. According to the below tweet from Tom Pelissero, NFL writer for USA Today, Blanton will receive $840,000 in salary and a $80,000 bonus.
Blanton is 26 years old and has been in the league for four years. He is better at tackling than he is in coverage despite the fact that he played cornerback in college at Notre Dame.
In the only year that he was the primary starter at safety, he finished third on the Vikings with 111 tackles according to Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com. Blanton will serve as a backup in Buffalo to starting safeties Corey Graham and Aaron Williams.
He can also contribute on special teams and that will likely be where he will make the biggest impact for the Bills unless Aaron Williams decides during training camp that he is unable to continue his career.
Buffalo should still consider adding a better player at safety either in free agency or the draft. The draft would be the cheaper way to do that but either option would be fine.
The Bills shouldn’t feel comfortable starting either Blanton or Duke Williams at safety if one of their current starters gets injured next year. Luckily for Buffalo, there are several good safeties available in the draft that they could select who would be better options for the team next year in the scenario that one of their starters gets injured.