I had high expectations for Tim Settle when he signed his free agent deal with the Buffalo Bills two years ago. All the talk at the time was this guy was really good but just buried on a depth chart of one of the best defensive lines with the Washington Commanders. Well, two years later, he has not lived up to those expectations. He's been a decent depth/rotation piece, but I was hoping for me impact, but it just hasn't happened.
Per Pro Football Focus, Settle played 377 total snaps in 2023. Those snaps resulted in 13 total tackles, nine stops, one sack, and 14 total pressures. In 2022, he played 371 snaps, resulting in 16 total tackles, 12 stops, one sack, and 11 pressures. I think you can do the math here, that's a lot of snaps and very little production in comparison. His overall PFF grade was 53.8 in 2022 and 58.2 last season. The Bills interior needs more production from guys playing this many snaps.
Buffalo has moved on from former defensive line coach Eric Washington and hired Marcus West as his replacement. In fact, the Bills defensive staff has been completely rearranged including a defensive coordinator. If the Bills choose to re-sign Settle, the question will be, can West get more out of Settle than Washington did? My hope is yes but only time will tell. I haven't been overly impressed with Washington to begin with, given all the draft assets and money that has been poured into the Bills defensive line. Guys, like Epenesa and Rousseau, have been solid players but haven't seemed to develop much under Washington's coaching. Epenesa has been better over these last two years but I still have my doubts about him, due to a lack of consistency. Rousseau has become a solid run-defender, but the pass rush isn't there yet.
There are some pluses to re-signing Settle. One is that Settle is only 26 years old and Sportrac has his projected market value set at $3.7 million average annual salary. It wouldn't cost much to retain him for one more "prove" season and see what new coach Marcus West can do with him. The fact the Bills have only one interior defensive lineman under contract right now also puts a little added pressure to retain him. Buffalo has a lot of offseason decisions to make regarding Settle and multiple other pending free agents. What they do this offseason, will go a long way towards keeping them in Super Bowl contention in 2024.