Are the Buffalo Bills tipping their hat with Mike Edwards signing

The Bills added to their safety room on Wednesday afternoon, but that doesn't mean they're finished finding replacements for Poyer and Hyde.
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Kansas City Chiefs v Buffalo Bills
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Kansas City Chiefs v Buffalo Bills / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

When Orchard Park's winter breeze pulled Tyler Bass' kick past the upright, it effectively ended the (Buffalo) careers of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, the team's all-pro safety duo that terrorized opposing quarterbacks for several seasons. On Wednesday afternoon, the Buffalo Bills plucked their replacement from the opposing sideline when they inked free agent safety Mike Edwards to a one-year contract. Edwards started in all four playoff games en route to a Super Bowl victory with the Kansas City Chiefs last season.

But that doesn't mean the Bills are finished adding to their safety room. Along with the resigning of last year's backups Cam Lewis and Taylor Rapp, who could end up being the starting strong safety, the Bills agreed on a team-friendly deal with Edwards. Considering the team only forked out $2.8 million, with incentives that can amount to $4 million, it doesn't seem like Buffalo is committed to Edwards being a long-term solution. In that case, it wouldn't be surprising for Buffalo to add another safety in the early rounds of the upcoming NFL draft.

Rapp and Edwards are solid players and head coach Sean McDermott has a history of developing defensive backs but they're likely not going to move the needle for Buffalo's back end. If the Bills weren't set on drafting a safety, perhaps they would have been more aggressive in the free-agent market, rather than waiting for a cheap veteran like Edwards to fall into their laps.

And it's worth noting two things: Edwards is a snug fit for Buffalo's defense, and he's similar in stature and style to that of a notable safety prospect in this year's draft. Listed at 5'10", 205 pounds, Edwards is a versatile player who can thrive in multiple parts of the field. Meanwhile, Georgia's Javon Bullard is listed at 5'10", 198 pounds and he also found success in multiple parts of the field during his collegiate career. Considering the Bills met with Bullard, amongst other safety prospects, at the NFL combine this month, it's certainly a position of note and the Bills' new cornerback coach Jahmile Addae was part of Georgia's staff when Bullard was a freshman with the Bulldogs.

For now, it seems like the Bills found some insurance with Edwards. He is a player that is comfortable in a starting role, without a salary that guarantees him a spot on the field. And considering there are a limited number of great safety prospects in this year's NFL draft, the Buffalo Bills were smart to add Edwards as a potential bridge to their future at safety, without sacrificing quality in 2024. And if he turns out like Poyer, who signed a cheap contract with the Bills in 2017 before becoming an All-Pro, then that's just a sweet bonus. Perhaps he can terrorize opposing quarterbacks with Bullard for years to come.


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