The Buffalo Bills started their first week of OTAs (Organized Team Activities), and while they are voluntary, nearly the entire team showed up to practice on Tuesday, May 24.
Of the seven players not in attendance, two of whom were out due to injury rehab, Jordan Poyer‘s absence caught the most attention, as he’s avidly seeking a contract extension.
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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. The Athletic’s Tim Graham tweeted, “Jordan Poyer’s new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, tells me: ‘We have approached the Bills about a contract extension for Jordan, and he would very much like to finish his career in Buffalo.'”
Nearly two months later, no new deal has come to fruition. Bills head coach Sean McDermott addressed Poyer’s absence during his press conference on Tuesday, noting that he spoke with the 31-year-old safety briefly during safety Micah Hyde’s charity softball game on May 15.
“We certainly miss having him here,” McDermott said. “I got a glimpse of him at the softball game the other day and had a chance to have a good conversation with him there. But business is business right now, and we’re focused on the guys that are here.”
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.
Poyer’s Wife Continues to Push for Her Husband’s Contract Extension on Twitter
Rachel Bush, Poyer’s wife, continues to be her husband’s most vocal advocate on Twitter. Last month, she put out tweets and retweeting messages concerning her husband’s contract extension, or lack thereof.
In since-deleted tweets captured by Bills Wire, Bush complained that while her husband remains underpaid, wide receiver Stefon Diggs got a monster extension even though he still had two years left on his contract.
On Tuesday, Bush again retweeted a fan’s message that encouraged Poyer to “demand” a new contract:
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, 23, are all set to become free agents.
Bills GM Comments on Poyer’s Contract Last Month Didn’t Sound Too Promising
The Bills’ general manager Brandon Beane addressed Poyer’s contract situation while speaking to the media on Wednesday, April 22. While Beane noted his “great relationship” with Rosenhaus, when asked about the safety’s possible extension, his un-cut, full response pivoted to mentioning how he’s one of many Bills players looking for a new contract, per The Athletic‘s Joe Buscaglia:
Yeah, I mean, it’s hard. There’s other guys here that want to be paid, too. I know that one is out in public, but that’s not the only agent of a player this offseason that’s on the Bills that, ‘What about my guy, what are you thinking? Is there a plan now? Is there a plan after the draft? Is there a plan at all?’ We’ve had those conversations, and that happens every year. Some do work their way into the media for whatever reason, whether it’s a player not showing or the agent discussing it.
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 is doubting Poyer’s talent or that he deserves 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 $5,665,218 in cap space, per OvertheCap.com.
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