The Buffalo Bills have an excess of pass rushers going into training camp this summer, and one insider believes it could lead to an exit for a former second-round pick who has endured a rocky start to his career.
The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia broke down the team’s most likely trade candidates before the season approaches. Buscaglia noted that Bills general manager Brandon Beane has made a habit of late-summer that flip marginal roster candidates for draft picks, and this year pegged defensive end Boogie Basham as the “most realistic” one.
The 2021 second-round pick, who has admitted that his sophomore season was disappointing, is aware of the pressure he faces and said he is ready to have a breakout season in 2023.
Second-Round Pick Could Be Headed Out of Buffalo
As Buscaglia noted, Basham’s hold on a roster spot could have already been slipping even before the team signed veteran Leonard Floyd to a one-year deal. Floyd had a productive season with the Los Angeles Rams in 2022, recording 9.0 sacks, 59 tackles, 22 quarterback hits and one fumble recovery. He has also been a steady and healthy presence, not missing a game since 2017.
Floyd’s addition means the Bills have six defensive ends vying for roster spots, and Buscaglia wrote that it was unlikely the team keeps all of them. Basham was at the back of the rotation last season, which could leave him a candidate for the trade block this summer, The Athletic’s writer noted.
“Basham has provided some good flashes now and again. Still, there isn’t a level of consistency to his game, and it almost seems like he’s a tweener with a game better suited to the interior but a body frame that dictates he should be rushing from the outside,” Buscaglia wrote.
Basham could have the most appeal to potential trade partners, he added, with still one more year left on his rookie contract.
“The Bills will see what Basham shows this summer, but if they feel like he’s not going to crack their rotation in 2023, holding him and making him a healthy scratch on game days could zap any remaining trade value,” Buscaglia wrote. “Turning 26 in December, Basham might be a sunk cost at this point.”
Boogie Basham Feeling Pressure in ‘Make or Break’ Season
Basham seems well aware that he needs a strong performance in his third season. In an interview with Syracuse.com’s Matt Parrino, Basham acknowledges that his second NFL season was disappointing as he recorded just 2.0 sacks and 19 total tackles.
Basham said he questioned himself at times, but remained confident in his abilities and ready to have a breakout season in 2023.
“You kind of question yourself sometimes, but you can’t do that,” he said. “If you question yourself then you’re not gonna play at your full potential. That was my problem. I’m questioning myself and I’m thinking like, ‘D**n, can I really do this?’ But then you get in there and you have that success sometimes in the games – it’s like, I know I can do this.”
Basham has been putting in the work to improve, working out in Las Vegas with teammates Gregory Rousseau and A.J. Epeneda and working out at Von Miller’s pass rush summit last year. Whether that work is enough to secure a roster spot could be seen this summer.