Buffalo Bills 2024 Offseason Position Preview: Running Back

With the NFL offseason upon us, here is a dive into the running back room and what the Buffalo Bills will address before next season.

New York Jets v Buffalo Bills
New York Jets v Buffalo Bills / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages

By the end of the 2023 season, there was something everyone learned about the Buffalo Bills and their running backs. Joe Brady likes using James Cook a lot. Once he gets a full offseason under his feet, Cook could be the man Brady uses in a lot of schemes for Buffalo. 

His success as a 1,100-yard rusher with a 5-yard average combined with being a receiving threat (445 yards, 4 touchdowns) makes him the main option as the number one back in Buffalo. His contract is a 4-year deal that he is still under until 2026.

As for the other Buffalo running backs, they all were under one-year deals in 2023 and will be up for extensions.

Latavius Murray is a free agent and at 34 years old, he should either come really cheap or the Bills let him go due to the team's sticky cap space situation. Ty Johnson was also under a one-year deal in 2023. Both running backs had similar 2023 seasons as well with under 100 total carries and running averages right around four per carry. 

Nyheim Hines was one of the Buffalo returners along with being on the running back depth chart. Unlike Murray and Johnson, he is still under contract through the 2024 season with it expiring in 2025.

Hines was not all that active in the Buffalo run game with just 33 yards and 24 carries all season. This was due to a bad, "injury reserve" ACL tear he suffered during the summer leading up to the season. He is under contract through the 2024 season with it expiring in 2025.

Another injury-riddled Bill was Damien Harris who was on a one-year deal this season. He got hurt during the New York Giants matchup with a scary-looking neck injury. In six games, he finished with 94 yards and a 4-yard average per carry. 

That leaves Leonard Fournette who Buffalo picked up for running back depth back in October. He also is up for a new contract as he spent a lot of time on the practice squad. However, he was released from the practice squad before the end of the season.

The Bills have their clear-cut weapon at running back in Cook. The depth beyond him will get shifted around because of how tight they are on cap space. However, Hines coming off of injury and still under contract and Fournette and Murray having age play a factor, a decision between Johnson and Harris could be the big "in-team" re-signing the Bills make at running back.

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