5 Bills players entering 2024 in precarious situations

Are these five Bills in uphill battles to earn a roster spot?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Buffalo Bills
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Buffalo Bills / Timothy T Ludwig/GettyImages

The NFL is all about competition to bring out the best in players. Every offseason, teams sign and draft players to increase the competition by the time training camp comes around right before the start of the season. The Buffalo Bills do a great job at signing solid veterans in the offseason to bring in the competition. Since Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott took over in Buffalo, their key factor is about the development of the players that they drafted. While the front office will always evaluate every player, whether they were drafted to the Bills or signed as a free agent, there is always reason to believe that the front office will go with the players they chose.

As training camp approaches quickly, there are going to be final 53-man roster projections all over the place. While there will be similarities in various positions, fans can expect to see some sort of debate over specific players or positions. We take a look at five Bills players that find themselves in a tough spot, either because of the massive competition that they face or because of the lack of production in their respective careers.

WR Chase Claypool

The former second round pick has a solid rookie season with the Pittsburgh Steelers but has failed to have any type of success since then. Part of the reason why Claypool was traded from Pittsburgh to the Chicago Bears after just two seasons is because of what his character was at the time. There was immaturity and Claypool just seemed like he was untouchable and is just simply not true. Claypool was traded to the Bears, only to be traded to the Miami Dolphins a year later. Claypool has not been in situations where he has been able to thrive and he signed with the Bills to help a receiver room that underwent a lot of change.

While Claypool is a fantastic athlete, it will all come down to the competition and whether or not the front office believes Claypool can bring value to the offense. With a receiver room that has guaranteed locks in Khalil Shakir, Keon Coleman and Curtis Samuel, the rest of the wideouts that signed with Buffalo this offseason have to prove themselves. Claypool will have competition like Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Justin Shorter, KJ Hamler and Andy Isabella.

While Claypool has a good chance at making the roster, Bills fans should also prepare for him to be out of Orchard Park before the start of the season.

S Mike Edwards

Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde are out of Buffalo so the Bills needed to address the safety position. Taylor Rapp re-signed with Buffalo on a three-year deal but then Brandon Beane signed former Chiefs and Buccaneers safety Mike Edwards to a one-year deal. After spending four seasons in Tampa Bay, Edwards was with the Chiefs last season and is now in Buffalo. Edwards can say that he played with Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and now potentially Josh Allen. 

While Edwards provides a veteran experience to this secondary, the Bills drafted Cole Bishop in the second round who is a pure run-stopper that can cover bigger receivers one-on-one. This will be a great position battle in training camp and if Bishop beats out Edwards, we could see Edwards be a quick one and done with the Bills.

WR Andy Isabella

It has been quite the journey for Andy Isabella. He was drafted to Arizona where he did not have much success. Then he was with the Baltimore Ravens for a quick stop before joining the Bills. Isabella was an exciting player that Bills fans got to see with the speed he brought but he only played in two games. Facing a similar situation like Claypool, Isabella has an uphill battle to make the final 53-man roster. Unless Isabella can earn himself a spot on special teams, Bills fans should expect to see Isabella on the practice squad and only called up when needed.

CB Kaiir Elam

It feels like this is the last chance for Kaiir Elam to prove something to the coaching staff and front office. He has been a disappointment in his first two seasons, including being beat out by Christian Benford for the CB2 job. Infact, Elam only played in three games last year which is inexcusable for a former first round pick. While the secondary cannot afford to lose anyone big because it is already thin, if Elam cannot improve in training camp and earn playing time, the Bills may want to strongly consider moving on from Elam.

OL La’el Collins

Out of all the players on this list, La’el Collins has the best shot at making the final roster. However, the Bills already have their tackles in Dion Dawkins and Spencer Brown so Collins is going to need to prove his worth as a backup. Maybe he plays the same role like David Edwards from last year where he serves as the swing tackle. The Bills are always looking to protect Josh Allen upfront so while Collins has an advantage going into training camp, nothing is ever guaranteed.