The Buffalo Bills continue to work internally and retain their own talent during the beginning segments of this 2021 offseason. Yesterday the Bills extended starting safety Micah Hyde, and today they have re-signed depth linebacker Andre Smith. According to Ian Rapoport, Smith re-signed by the Bills to a 2-year deal worth up to $3M.
Smith was a restricted free agent this offseason, so he clearly felt like the Bills knew him best. Thus, the Bills were most likely to give him his desired price tag and an opport
unity to get on the field moving forward. Smith was acquired by the Bills prior to the 2020 season via trade with none other than the Carolina Panthers.
Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane’s familiarity with Andre Smith from their time in Carolina and this past season with the Bills was certainly a factor in re-signing the linebacker. While Smith wasn’t a starting contributor to the Buffalo Bills defense in 2020, he did make some solid special teams contributions.
Furthermore, Smith actually played quite well in his only opportunity to contribute to the Buffalo defense in week 17 of 2020 against the Dolphins. In that game, Smith only played 25% of defensive snaps but still had 5 total tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and a forced fumble.
With the future of Matt Milano in Buffalo up in the air, the Bills are clearly trying to cover their bases with this signing at the linebacker position. By signing Smith to this two-year deal the Bills lock in some youthful depth at the position. This signing should make Brandon Beane slightly more comfortable about the linebacker room heading into draft season. However, don’t be surprised if the Bills add some more depth to the position group with a bargain bin addition in free agency.
With all that being said, by no means does this take the idea of drafting a premier linebacker with the 30th overall pick off the table for the Buffalo Bills in the 2021 NFL Draft.