Buffalo Bills Free Agency: The case for and against signing Miles Sanders
By Ryan Heckman
This offseason, the Buffalo Bills could opt to try and find a running back to pair with last year’s rookie James Cook.
With Devin Singletary hitting free agency, Buffalo might look to find an upgrade.
One of those candidates is current Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders, who is nearly done with his rookie contract and enters free agency for the first time.
The case for signing Miles Sanders is mostly due to his age and experience in a run-committed offense
Last year, Sanders finally broke out and finished with a career-high 1,269 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. He didn’t catch the ball much, but was more so the Eagles’ workhorse in the regular season.
Sanders is only 25 years old at the moment and doesn’t have a ton of tread burned off those tires. He has only carried the ball 200-plus times once in his career, and that came in this most recent season.
The Eagles were committed to running the football, and Sanders is accustomed to a run-first offense with a mobile quarterback. His experience with read options would also come into play, with a quarterback like Josh Allen.
Sanders is a talented running back, but might be costly.
What would the Bills have to pay to land Sanders?
The case against the Buffalo Bills signing Miles Sanders lies mostly in financial concern
A couple of examples of recent contracts signed by running backs should give an idea of what Sanders’ market looks like:
Leonard Fournette was 27 and signed for 3-years, $21 million
Gus Edwards was 26 and signed for 2-years, $9 million
Sanders is going to turn 26 years old in May and is a starter for his current team, so that would put him past the Edwards deal. The Fournette contract was an odd one, because running backs usually don’t get deals that long when they are 27 or older.
But, if Sanders got a similar deal to the Fournette contract, that seems fair. He might even get more than that, annually, but not by much.
For a team like Buffalo, who is cash-strapped, signing a running back in free agency doesn’t make sense unless they’re willing to go all-in on someone like Saquon Barkley, or trade for someone like Dalvin Cook or Aaron Jones.
Sanders is too much of a question mark and has only had one real strong year over his career. It’s a risk signing Sanders, and Bills fans likely wouldn’t be happy about it.