Since free agency this past offseason, the Buffalo Bills have clearly had an idea of the type of running back they wanted to add to this offense. The search began with trying to sign J.D. McKissic but he elected to return to the Washington Commanders.
The Bills would then sign Duke Johnson but also draft running back James Cook in the 2022 NFL Draft. However, the Bills would release Johnson prior to the season and Cook hasn’t been much of a factor to begin the year.
General manager Brandon Beane didn’t stop his search and right before the deadline acquired running back Nyheim Hines from the Indianapolis Colts. He was a fourth round pick by the Colts in the 2018 NFL Draft and during that time developed into an excellent pass-catching running back with 235 receptions.
In addition to that, Nyheim Hines also has experience on special teams as a punt returner with 73 returns and an average of 11.8 yards per return. While adding a running back like Christian McCaffrey or Alvin Kamara would have drawn headlines, Hines probably ends up being the better deal for the Buffalo Bills.
They address two potential needs on this roster and in return, it cost the Buffalo Bills a sixth round pick (that could become a fifth) and running back Zack Moss. There were high expectations for Moss and the Bills likely didn’t want to move their former third round pick but there wouldn’t be room on the roster with the addition of Hines and it now gives Moss a fresh start.
Grade for the Buffalo Bills trading for Nyheim Hines: A
It is tough to find a negative with this trade as it gives the Buffalo Bills a compliment to Devin Singletary in this backfield and a player that can contribute this season in what is hopefully a Super Bowl run for Buffalo. The trade also gives them an experienced punt returner to backup or potentially take over for Khalil Shakir.
They were able to get all that for a Day 3 draft pick and a running back that had fallen out of the rotation at the position. This move makes one of the best teams in the league even better.