Buffalo Bills: Big decisions loom in free agency at safety position

Jordan Poyer, Buffalo Bills (Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports)
Jordan Poyer, Buffalo Bills (Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports) /

During the 2023 offseason, the Buffalo Bills have some intriguing needs to fill. Wide receiver is one of them, which sounds a bit odd considering they have Stefon Diggs. But, the group could be overhauled if Brandon Beane desired.

Another major need comes up front within the offensive line, and that couldn’t be more obvious. But, in order to address it in the manner fans are expecting, the Bills will have to make some tough decisions.

Can they make a couple of cuts in order to save some money?

Could Beane restructure a few deals in order to provide more flexibility in 2023? Both of these are possibilities.

Another area that they’ll face big decisions is at safety, with three key free agents coming up and another player with one giant question mark.

The safety position is a crucial one this offseason for the Buffalo Bills

Jordan Poyer (Age 31)

Overall 2022 PFF grade: 75.4

63 tackles in 12 games

8 passes defensed, 4 interceptions

Missed tackle percentage: 4.5

Opposing QB Rating allowed: 60.1

Jaquan Johnson (Age 27)

Overall 2022 PFF grade: 51.5

32 tackles in 16 games (3 starts)

1 interception, 1 pass defensed

Missed tackle percentage: 5.9

Opposing QB Rating allowed: 96.5

Dean Marlowe (Age 30)

Overall 2022 PFF grade: 46.5

3 tackles in 4 games (zero starts)

Missed tackle percentage: 25.0

Opposing QB Rating allowed: 118.7

Other than these three, Damar Hamlin will of course be a question mark. Obviously, he has a spot with the team whenever he makes a full recovery. But, at this point, it is unknown whether or not he will be able to play football again, and when.

The 24-year-old Hamlin made 13 starts last season before the scary Monday Night Football emergency.

Buffalo will have to decide, first, whether or not they’ll be able to bring Poyer back. It’s a given that he makes this defense better, as they only lost one game this season with Poyer starting.

Beyond Poyer, the Bills could live without the other two free agents in Johnson and Marlowe. But, the team will want to spend at least one draft pick on a safety to step in their place. Maybe the Bills also sign a low-cost free agent, or they could opt to keep one of Johnson or Marlowe on a minimum deal.

Whatever they do, the Bills have plenty of decisions to make on this one position. Poyer is a stud and should be kept, if at all possible, and from there Buffalo can feel better about any decision they make regarding the rest of their free agents at the position.