When the Buffalo Bills traded back from the 10th pick to the 27th pick in the 2017 draft, that was the start of a culture change when the team drafted cornerback Tre'Davious White out of LSU. Playing on his rookie deal, White emerged as a great shutdown cornerback for the Bills' secondary, which also included a younger duo of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde.
In 2020, White earned a contract extension with the Bills, solidifying himself as the premier ballhawk corner for years to come. White was consistent and the Bills did not have to worry about White being a liability on the field.
Then in November of 2021, the Bills were in New Orleans playing the Saints on Thanksgiving where things started to go downhill for White. In that game, White suffered a season-ending torn ACL that would sideline him until the following season where White was rumored to have come back early but did not play until the final couple of regular season games.
In the games that White did play in for Buffalo in the 2022 season, he looked uncomfortable and did not look like his old self. In his defense, coming back from a knee injury is not the easiest thing to do, especially at a position that requires a lot of quick reaction against fast wide receivers. However, White was a liability for the Bills' defense during that time.
Heading into the 2023 season, White had a full offseason where he was not recovering from the injury. White played in the first three games of the season with no issues. From the eye test, his only true bad play (which was not necessarily his fault) was allowing Jets' wide receiver Garrett Wilson make an unremarkable one-handed touchdown grab in the front corner of the endzone in Week 1 that helped spark a Jets' comeback victory.
Then in Week 4 against the Miami Dolphins, after limiting the production of wideouts Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, the worst case scenario happened for White. Late in the third quarter, White went down, threw his helmet and laid on the field in pain.
It was later reported that White tore his Achilles which would end his season again for the second time in three years.
With these injuries, should the Bills move off of Tre'Davious White?
White was the first draft pick under Sean McDermott, who was a former defensive back himself in college. Hence why the Bills have had such a great secondary in recent memory.
However, it is time to face reality with the fact that White, who is signed with the Bills through the 2025 season, is not getting any younger and has now two lower body injuries that have sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
The dead cap money if White was to be let go by the Bills would be over $10 million, which would add stress to an already stressful salary cap situation that the Bills have on their end. Maybe they will not do it this offseason and will wait until next season. However, are the Bills willing to go with White again after this second season-ending injury?
Brandon Beane will have to consider this option that seemed unthinkable just a few seasons ago.