The Buffalo Bills re-signing Isaiah McKenzie has the potential to be one of their best bargains this offseason.
The wide receiver position was one that could look very different for the Buffalo Bills next offseason with a number of players set to be free agents this offseason. One of those players was Isaiah McKenzie but the two sides were able to agree to a new deal before free agency got started and now the speedy wide receiver will be back next season.
This is the grade for the move taking into account what Isaiah McKenzie brings to the offense and the contract they agreed upon.
Isaiah McKenzie was claimed off waivers by the Buffalo Bills during the 2018 season after he was released by the Denver Broncos. He had a bigger role on offense earlier in his time with the Bills but saw his snaps decrease when they added Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis in 2020 and Emmanuel Sanders last offseason.
However, he would earn the job as the team’s primary kick and punt returner to start last season but would be benched midway through last season. The Bills at the time were dealing with some injuries and McKenzie got a chance to start in place of Cole Beasley in the slot and had a career game with 11 receptions, 125 receiving yards, and a touchdown against the Patriots.
Moving forward, this is where I believe you see McKenzie play more and have a bigger impact with the offense.
According to Spotrac, the contract is a two-year deal worth $4.4 million dollars with a potential out after this season that would save $2.175 million and only $300,000 in dead cap. The cap hit in 2022, ranks 73rd among wide receivers.
Grade for the Buffalo Bills signing of Isaiah McKenzie
For Isaiah McKenzie, the grade can change pretty drastically depending on what his role is this upcoming season. He showed in that game against the New England Patriots that he is more than capable of being the team’s starting slot receiver.
He brings an element of speed that at this point in his career Cole Beasley is not able to. However, for McKenzie to take that job over, the Bills will have to trade or release the veteran receiver this offseason.
If Beasley remains with the team, this is still a great deal as McKenzie would remain as that gadget-type player for this offense that the coaching staff can use on jet sweeps and try to spread defenses out sideline to sideline.
There really isn’t anything to not like about this trade when considering the player and the contract. It can only go up if McKenzie gets a bigger role in this offense.
Final Grade: B+ (moves up to an A if McKenzie is the starting slot receiver in 2022)