The Buffalo Bills‘ postseason came to an abrupt end following their crushing 27-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Divisional round and running back Devin Singletary was blindsided by the result.
The fourth-year veteran, who’s set to become an unrestricted free agent in March, said after the game that he hadn’t yet thought about his future because he fully expected to be traveling to Atlanta this weekend for the neutral-site AFC showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs.
When asked if the gravity of his contract situation started to hit him as he walked off the field, “Definitely,” Singletary said during his postgame interview. “I don’t know if that was my last game here or not, but we’ll see how it plays out… I’d love to be back here… I love Buffalo, but it’s a business.”
The Bills’ third-round pick from the 2019 NFL Draft emerged as the team’s No. 1 back this year, recording 177 carries for 819 yards and five rushing touchdowns during the regular season, earning a 75.9 overall rating from Pro Football Focus. During the Bills’ two postseason games, Singletary added another 16 rushes for 60 yards, along with five receptions for 38 yards.
If it was up to Dawson Knox, who was picked up in the same draft class as the Florida Atlantic alum, “Motor” wouldn’t go anywhere. “Obviously, we would love to keep him,” Knox said. “I love the guy. He’s an incredible football player and an incredible person. We just finished up year four together, so I’d love for that to keep going. If it was up to me he’d be here.” Knox’s future is secure in Buffalo as the 26-year-old tight end signed a four-year, $53 million extension back in September.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen also praised Singletary following his final game-clinching play against the Dolphins in the Wild Card round. “Finishing on that last drive. ‘Motor’ putting his head down, going and getting it. When they know you’re running, you gotta be able to do it. We were able to do it.”
As for not getting it done against Cincinnati, “Had some mistakes and it cost us,” Singletary said. Knowing the team once again fell short of their Super Bowl expectations, “This is a sick feeling. Just a sick feeling.”
“We went through a lot this year,” Singletary added. “We could have easily just laid down early on and gone our separate ways, but we banded together. Really, we’re some fighters. That’s the best way to put it. We’re some fighters.”
Singletary Embraced Rookie RB James Cook
Singletary said this team has a lot of playmakers and he got a “fair amount” of carries this year even though rookie James Cook usurped some of his targets after Zack Moss was traded to the Colts.
While Cook had a shaky start, he earned a 78.3 overall grade from PFF and finished the regular season with 89 rushes for 507 yards and two touchdowns. During the postseason, the Bills’ second-round pick from the 2022 NFL Draft added another 17 rushes for 52 yards.
Cook had two more carries than Singletary during their Week 18 matchup against the Patriots, and again during the Bills-Dolphins Wild Card matchup, which started a debate among fans and analysts as to which back should see more action. Despite the comparisons, Singletary has been rooting for the 23-year-old rookie to succeed.
“That’s the name of the game, keep finding ways to get better,” Singletary said of Cook, per The Buffalo News. “Stay the course. It’s not always going to be easy and it might not always go your way, but keep fighting. That’s what he’s been doing. We’re close, almost like brothers I would say, and he keeps getting better and better.”
Sean McDermott Said He’ll Start Evaluating the Roster on Tuesday
During his press conference on Monday, January 23, Bills head coach Sean McDermott said he and general manager Brandon Beane will immediately start assessing the team.
“Starting tomorrow, we’ll get into our evaluations of the roster with the offense and defense, respectively. And then Brandon and I will follow up and meet on each one of those situations. And so, that’s really how the next couple of days will look.
“It’s whoever we value… the positions that we value, because you can’t pay everyone and you can’t go get all elite players at every position. It’s unrealistic in the modern, salary-cap era. We have to place proper value on the positions that we feel will help us win the Super Bowl and then find those players at those positions.”
In addition to Singletary, Buffalo’s key unrestricted free agent list includes safety Jordan Poyer, linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and A.J. Klein, guard Rodger Saffold, punter Sam Martin, defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, defensive end Shaq Lawson, along with offensive linemen David Quessenberry and Greg Van Roten.