LB Bryce Paup – 1995
Bryce Paup is arguably one of the best free agent signings in the history of the NFL and it came at a pivotal time in Buffalo Bills’ history — the final three years of the Marv levy era. He joined the Bills in 1995 as a free agent after spending his first four years with the Green Bay Packers.
He signed a 3-year, $7.6 million contract after the Packers failed to re-sign him. Feeling mistreated by the Packers, Paup had this to say about the situation:
"“They didn’t think I was that good. They thought I was feeding off Reggie (White)”"
With that, he moved to the Bills to work alongside Bruce Smith, who would later make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In Paup’s first season with Buffalo, he would finish with 89 tackles, 17.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, 2 interceptions and 6 passes defended.
Paup would follow that up with 2 more dominant seasons, combining for 125 tackles, 15.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 5 passes defended over that span. He would arguably go down as the franchise’s most explosive pass rusher.
Unfortunately, Paup grew tired of being in Buffalo after their offense started to show weakness and the team struggled to make any noise in the playoffs. He would sign a big contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but it wouldn’t go anywhere and Bryce Paup would never be the same.
He would later retire in 2000 and spends his days now as the defensive line coach for the University of Minnesota.