The Buffalo Bills are moving on Devin Singletary after the free-agent running back signed a deal with the Houston Texans that is turning heads with some fans.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on March 20 that Singletary signed a one-year deal worth up to $3.75 million, a number well below what some experts had projected.
Singletary hit free agency after one of the most productive seasons of his four-year career, as he rushed for 819 yards and five touchdowns, adding another 38 receptions for 280 yards and a touchdown. Though the Bills faced a salary cap crunch going into the offseason, some fans believe they would have had the room to bring back Singletary, especially on the small deal that he ultimately signed with the Texans.
Bills React to Devin Singletary’s Departure
There had been signs that the Bills were not planning to re-sign Singletary, and the running back himself spoke about his uncertain future following the team’s playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I don’t know if that was my last game here or not, but we’ll see how it plays out,” Singletary told reporters during his postgame interview. “I’d love to be back here… I love Buffalo, but it’s a business.”
While Singletary’s departure was not a surprise to many Bills fans, his final price tag did turn some heads.
“The #Bills clearly wanted to move in another direction bc that contract is peanuts,” tweeted the account for The Bills Guys podcast, adding that Singletary has the chance to create a strong running back duo with new teammate Dameon Pierce.
CBS Sports had originally projected that Singletary would get a new contract with an average annual value of $5.5 million, so his actual deal came in well below that number though gives him the chance to prove himself in the coming season and look for a better number in the open market next year.
Bills Moving on With New Running Back Duo
Singeltary’s departure means that second-year back James Cook is slated to move into the No. 1 role with the Bills. Cook saw an increasing share of touches as the season went on, averaging 60 yards per game over the last three games of the season. He finished the season with 507 rushing yards with two touchdowns.
The Bills could also be handing a larger role to Nyheim Hines, who joined the team at last season’s trade deadline and appeared primarily as a return specialist. The Bills brought Hines back on a renegotiated contract and also signed speedy wide receiver Deonte Harty, who could take over return duties and allow Hines to play a bigger role in the running game.
ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg predicted that the Bills could also make another addition to their running back room through free agency to add more competition.
“Former Cowboys back Ezekiel Elliott would be an intriguing fit but is coming off one of the worst statistical seasons of his career (3.8 yards per attempt) and has dealt with injuries the past two years,” Getzenberg wrote. “Kareem Hunt (Browns) and Leonard Fournette (Buccaneers) could also fit what they are looking for.”