6 free agents the Buffalo Bills must avoid in 2023 NFL free agency

Jessie Bates (Mandatory Credit: Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports)
Jessie Bates (Mandatory Credit: Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports) /
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After the way last season ended, general manager Brandon Beane may be feeling the pressure this offseason to try and get the Buffalo Bills over that final hurdle and ultimately to a Super Bowl trophy. That begins this week with the start of free agency.

While being aggressive has sometimes worked out well, like last year’s free agent signing of Von Miler, there are plenty of cautionary tales of teams spending big on the wrong free agent that sets the team back.

When looking at the current group of free agents, these are six players that the Buffalo Bills should avoid this offseason in free agency.

Buffalo Bills
Jessie Bates III (Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) /

Free agent the Buffalo Bills should avoid: Jessie Bates III

It looks like Jordan Poyer will be playing for a new team this upcoming season after six years paired up with Micah Hyde as a key part of the Buffalo Bills defense. The safety position has been a strength of this defense and the Buffalo Bills might want to try and spend big to ensure that continues.

One of the players who is expected to receive a big contract at safety is Jessie Bates III, who has been the starter for the Cincinnati Bengals for the past five years. The Bengals even used the franchise tag on him last offseason because of how valuable they believed he was to their defense.

The reason that the Buffalo Bills should avoid Bates is that his production has been inconsistent and it has even been trending in the wrong direction. He began his career with three straight seasons with over 100 total tackles but has not surpassed 90 total tackles in each of the past two years.

Bates has also not always been a great tackler with 57 career missed tackles and a missed tackle rate of 11.8%, according to Pro Football Reference.

The safety position is going to be a key need for the Buffalo Bills this offseason but Jessie Bates III is not the answer.