We've grown accustomed to seeing both Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer line up side by side together now for seven seasons. Did anyone see this coming too? When the Bills signed Hyde to a free agent deal away from the Green Bay Packers, I think many of us didn't see just how incredibly impactful that signing would be for the Bills. He and Poyer have formed one of the best, if not the best, safety tandems in the NFL.
It seems that injury and age may have caught up to Hyde and probably more injury than age. I firmly believe if not for the neck injury he suffered in 2022 that kept him out for all but two weeks that season, his return to Buffalo would not be a question. Even in a free agent year, I do not doubt that Hyde would return for one more season. That said, it's not a foregone conclusion that he'll retire but all signs so far point to just that. I think the only thing that could convince him to return, is Poyer and the opportunity to run one more time with his defensive backfield mate.
NFL Free Agency is set to begin next year and Hyde is one of 21 pending free agents for the Buffalo Bills. Hyde's final year of his deal paid him over $9.6 million and if he were to return for one more season, I don't think it would be for that size of a deal. Spotrac.com has his projected market value at $3.7 million, which is certainly reasonable and within Buffalo's budget. Personally, I would love to see him back on the team in 2024 but at the same time, I think it's time for the Bills to get younger and faster at the position through the NFL Draft. If Hyde was willing to come back in more of a backup, mentor-type role, that would be fantastic but unlikely too.
In 2023, Hyde recorded 50 total tackles, including 41 solo, and two interceptions. When targeted in the passing game, opposing quarterbacks had a QB rating of 121.1, allowing 25 receptions on 32 targets. He also had only seven missed tackles all season. I don't think I'm going out on a limb here and saying that Micah Hyde belongs on the Buffalo Bills Ring of Honor, and I hope the Bills organization does the right thing and makes it happen sooner rather than later.