Buffalo Bills 2022 Free Agent Profile: Defensive Tackle Harrison Phillips

Harrison Phillips, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Harrison Phillips, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

One player who had a great season in a contract year was defensive tackle Harrison Phillips. After a slow start to the season, he became a big part of the Buffalo Bills’ defense towards the end of the year and into the playoffs.

He is a player that should generate plenty of interest from other teams in free agency. The question now is whether or not the Buffalo Bills re-sign their starting defensive tackle? Let’s take a look at his career and what he did last season.

Career Overview

The Buffalo Bills drafted Harrison Phillips in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Stanford. As a rookie, he appeared in all 16 games and was a key part of the rotation at defensive tackle by playing 38% of the snaps.

The following season started very promisingly as he was playing great football but would suffer a season-ending knee injury in Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals. While he did return at the start of the 2020 season, that injury seemed to still impact him as he didn’t look like the same player and struggled at times.

2021 Season Recap

This past season, those questions lingered as Harrison Phillips continued to struggle in the first half of the season. However, he moved into the starting lineup in Week 9 with Star Lotuleli on the Reserve/COVID-19 list and he looked like a completely different player.

He would finish the second half of the year playing like he did at the start of the 2019 season and had some great games. The best came in Week 16 against the Atlanta Falcons when he not only helped stop their run game but also was getting constant pressure on Matt Ryan as he had one sack and three QB hits in that one game.

Should the Buffalo Bills re-sign Harrison Phillips?

The Buffalo Bills this offseason don’t have a player that looks like a must-sign free agent, a player that if they were to lose would be tough to replace. However, Harrison Phillips would be the one player in my opinion that would be closest to that level.

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There certainly is some injury risk with a long-term deal for Phillips but when he is healthy he is an excellent defensive tackle in the middle of this line that not only helps against the run but can also provide some pass rush. What he brings also helps players around him, like Ed Oliver, be in winnable matchups and make them better.