Fan-Favorite Defensive Veteran Returns to Bills on ‘Low-Cost’ Contract

Jordan Phillips

Getty Jordan Phillips #97 of the Buffalo Bills looks on prior to a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Highmark Stadium on August 13, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York.

The Buffalo Bills are bringing a familiar face back to their defensive line.

Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips is re-signing with the Bills on a one-year, $4.6-million contract, Pro Football Talk reported on March 29. Phillips had been with the Bills in 2018 and 2019, when he recorded a career-high 9.5 sacks. He left for the Arizona Cardinals in free agency, but returned to Buffalo last offseason on a one-year deal.

Phillips now joins a number of other defensive free agents who have decided to return to the Bills.

Jordan Phillips Had Expressed a Desire to Return to Buffalo

Phillips, a former second-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2015, had already dropped a strong hint that he wanted to return to Buffalo. Following the conclusion of the season, Phillips told reporters that he was hoping to re-sign with the team.

“Yeah, I’m going to figure out a way to get it done,” Phillips said in January, via USA Today’s Bills Wire.

Phillips appeared in 12 games last season, losing the back half of the season to a shoulder injury. He later had offseason surgery for a torn rotator cuff, ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg reported. He still managed to be productive in the time he did play, registering 20 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Phillips had been popular with fans, and the Bills earned some praise for the “low-cost” contract.

Many Happy Returns for Bills

Though the Bills lost Pro Bowl linebacker Tremaine Edmunds in free agency, they have been able to keep a number of other key defensive players — including one who looked to be as good as gone. Safety Jordan Poyer returned to the team on a two-year contract worth up to $14.5 million, Ryan O’Halloran of the Buffalo News reported.

Though Poyer had made a number of statements on his podcast and social media implying that he was leaving the Bills, he said he ultimately wanted to return to the team and the community.

“I was just testing the market,” Poyer said at a March 16 press conference. “I was a free agent, you know. I was seeing just what else is out there like, there wasn’t anything out there that I would have been happy about going to do. And at the end of the day, it really came down to what is going to make — this one of the things my wife was telling me, what is going to make Jordan Poyer happy? What is going to make you happy? Because whatever makes you happy, is going to make everybody else around you happier.”

“And so, being here was going to make me happy — being here with the guys that I’m here with,” added Poyer. “Being in the community with the community that I’ve grown to love. You know, and just seeing, seeing all the people in here today — I d**n near started crying because it’s like, you see all the people in here that you’ve built a relationship over the last six years and just how excited they are to have you back in the building, you know, is pretty special.”

The Bills have brought back some other defensive free agents, including cornerbacks Dane Jackson and Cam Lewis and linebacker Tyrel Dodson.

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