The Buffalo Bills‘ training camp officially kicked off at St. John Fisher University in Rochester on Sunday, July 24, and safety Jordan Poyer was in attendance despite not yet receiving a new contract extension.
The first-team All-Pro safety hired high-powered agent Drew Rosenhaus in early April, who went public about his client’s plea for a new deal and Poyer’s wife, Rachel Bush, strongly advocated for her husband’s pay raise on Twitter.
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However, nearly five months have passed and no new deal has been signed. While Poyer’s active presence at camp is a great sign that he won’t hold out on playing until a new deal is reached, it was a surprise to see he brought Rosenhaus with him to St. John’s.
“My agent is here,” Poyer told the media on Sunday. “I know him, and Brandon Beane are talking things through. I’m just excited to be back out here playing football, the game with my teammates. It’s been a journey but I’m here right now. I’m excited to play football and to continue to get better.”
When Poyer was asked how people should take his agent’s presence at camp, he didn’t have a clear answer. “It’s hard to say,” Poyer said. “I’ve got to talk to them some more. See where everything’s going.”
In March 2020, the Bills signed Poyer to a two-year extension worth up to $19.5 million with $8.5 million guaranteed, per Spotrac.com. As it stands, Poyer has a $10.7 cap hit for the 2022 NFL season, the sixth-highest on the team, and is set to make $5.6 million in base salary during the final year of his contract.
Bills GM Doesn’t Appear Bothered By Rosenhaus’ Presence at Camp
While the Bills’ general manager Brandon Beane said he won’t publicly discuss contract negotiations, he offered a brief comment on Poyer’s situation while addressing the media on Sunday.
“Drew and I have a great relationship, as do us and Jordan and Drew and I have had many conversations,” Beane said. “This just happened to work out for him to come up here and do this to start camp, but we’re good. I don’t talk about negotiations, but we love Jordan, Drew is great to work with and that’s probably the extent I’d be willing to talk about it.”
As for Poyer, the 31-year-old is staying positive through the unknown. “I want to be here,” the veteran safety said. “I’m going to continue to be a leader for this team and continue to do what I can to help this team win football games.”
“I still feel like that I can play at a high level for a few years,” Poyer continued. “All I’ve heard is Jordan’s age, this and that. So that continues to motivate me in the offseason. I chose to be here because I wanted to come here and show that I’m ready to play and I can still play at a high level.”
Poyer Is One of Many Bills Players Up for a Major Extension
While it’s great that Poyer wants to remain in Buffalo, he recorded 93 tackles, three sacks, and five interceptions last season, SB Nation’s Bruce Nolan tweeted out one of the glaring issues of offering him an extension right now, “When your NFL team has a lot of good players, they can’t all be on upper market contracts simultaneously.”
A restructured extension can create more cap room this year, but the main concern is for the 2023 NFL season, during which players such as Dawson Knox, 25, Devin Singeltary, 24, and Tremaine Edmunds, 24, are all set to become free agents. Also, Bills quarterback Josh Allen’s cap hit takes a major jump next season, going from $16.3 million to $39.7 million.
Back on April 22, Beane strongly insinuated giving Poyer what he wants may not be possible, as reported by The Athletic‘s Joe Buscaglia:
Yeah, I mean, it’s hard. There’s other guys here that want to be paid, too… I want to pay ’em all — the ones that deserve it and have earned it. There’s other guys here that I feel have earned it as well, and want to do it. There’s guys that have left here since I’ve been here that I’ve wanted to pay, or our organization has wanted to pay, but you can’t pay them all, to the point of your question. And that’s hard because I’m a people person. I love these guys and love ’em to death, but I also have a job to do and have rules to follow. From a cap standpoint and cash. Unfortunately, you have to say goodbye to some.
No one doubts Poyer’s talent or thinks he doesn’t deserve to get paid as he enters his 10th season in the NFL, his sixth with the Bills — but it remains unseen if Buffalo can afford to keep him at a price that makes him happy. As it stands, the Bills have approximately $3.9 million in cap space, according to Spotrac.com.