The legal tampering period is set to begin on Monday at noon but on Sunday afternoon the Buffalo Bills were able to ensure one of the players from last year’s team is going to return. The team announced that they were able to agree to a two-year deal with wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the contract is worth $8 million over the two years.
McKenzie joined Buffalo in 2018 when the Bills claimed him off waivers after he was released by the Denver Broncos. For most of his time with Buffalo he has primarily been a gadget player for this offense as he is a player that can line up at wide receiver but also in the backfield.
This past season, McKenzie had a chance to earn the starting job as the primary returner on kickoffs and punts. He would be the starter at the beginning of the season but lose the job midway through the year.
What will Isaiah McKenzie’s role be with the Buffalo Bills moving forward?
This is the big question and his role likely hinges on Cole Beasley and if Buffalo is able to trade him, or even decide to release him. Over the past two seasons, McKenzie has gotten a chance to start as the slot receiver in place of Beasley.
In both of those games, McKenzie had excellent performances with six receptions, 65 receiving yards, and two receiving touchdowns against the Miami Dolphins in Week 17 of the 2020 season. Then this past season, he had a career game with 11 receptions, 125 receiving yards, and one touchdown against the New England Patriots.
There is no denying the fact that McKenzie brings speed to this offense, which is lacking when he is not heavily involved. However, the coaching staff will need to give him more opportunities to be on the field as he has played under 25% of the offensive snaps each of the past two seasons after playing over 45% in his first two years with the team.