One of the Buffalo Bills‘ most prolific pending free agents is safety Jordan Poyer. While Bills general manager Brandon Beane would love to keep him around, the team being approximately $20 million over the salary cap for next season makes that prospect seem highly unlikely.
Poyer, who’s played for the Bills since 2017, hired super agent Drew Rosenhaus before the 2022 NFL season started to negotiate an extension, however, Buffalo did not secure the All-Pro, and instead offered him a restructured deal with much higher incentives.
With the Bills expected to prioritize extending linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, 24, ESPN analyst Matt Bowen predicts Poyer will ultimately land with one of Buffalo’s AFC East rival, the New England Patriots.
“Poyer’s multidimensional traits fit with Bill Belichick’s scheme as a movable defensive player with deep-field range,” Bowen wrote. “Veteran safety Devin McCourty is set to hit free agency, so there is a need here. A highly instinctual defensive back, Poyer could match in coverage, check tight ends or track the ball from post/deep-half alignments in New England. And he can play multiple roles in Belichick’s sub-packages. Last season, Poyer logged four interceptions and eight pass breakups for the Bills.”
The Patriots easily have the resources to offer Poyer an attractive deal, as they are approximately $33 million under the salary cap for next season, which ranks seventh in the league, per OverTheCap.com. According to Pro Football Focus, Poyer’s market value is expected to earn him a two-year contract worth an estimated $17 million.
NBC Sports Boston reporter Darren Hartwell agrees Poyer would be an “intriguing fit” in Belichick’s regime. Hartwell wrote, “The 31-year-old is coming off a Pro Bowl campaign and could help fill McCourty’s void as both a leader and playmaker on New England’s back line.”
Poyer Left the Door Open for a Possible Return to Buffalo
Poyer’s wife, Rachel Bush, strongly insinuated his time in Buffalo was officially over, but while participating in the 2023 Pro Bowl in Las Vegas, the safety opened up to The Athletic left door open for a possible return.
As a pending free agent, Poyer, who turns 32 in April, said the first order of business is to get healthy. Due to a laundry list of injuries, he powered through a hyper-extended elbow, sprained foot, rib injuries, a collapsed lung, and a torn meniscus — Poyer never earned the bonus money added to his contract. During the AFC Divisional Playoff game, a concussion suffered early in the fourth quarter forced an early exit during what might’ve been his last game in Buffalo.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m going to enjoy this free-agency process and see what options are out there and what’s best for my family and myself moving forward,” Poyer said. “If that’s Buffalo, great. If that’s somewhere else, that’s just the business.
“I have enjoyed my time in Buffalo, all the fans, my coaches, my teammates. We were able to build something special there, and they’re going to continue to build something special. It would be great to be a part of it.”
Poyer Removed Bills Mentions From His Social Media Bios
While Poyer may be hoping Buffalo can scrounge up enough money to keep him, The Athletic noted that the former seventh-round pick from the 2013 NFL Draft “didn’t specify if hitting the open market is totally his choice.”
In the meantime, Poyer appears to be preparing for a switch, as he edited his profile bios on both Twitter and Instagram to no longer contain Bills gear or mentions.
Poyer said he returned to Highmark three days in a row following the Bengals’ playoff loss to say his goodbyes and process what the future may hold. “I had a lot of emotions going through my head,” he said. “Will this be the last time I get dressed in this locker? Will this be the last time I leave this stadium? All that stuff did cross my mind.”
As for which team he’ll be suiting up for next season, there doesn’t appear to be an early front-runner just yet. “I’m sure everybody is interested in what’s going to happen, but nobody is more interested than I am,” he said.
The Bills went 13-1 this year when Poyer was active. He finished the regular season with 46 solo tackles, four interceptions, and 16 receptions allowed. In 2021, Poyer tallied 61 solo tackles, five interceptions, and 13 receptions allowed.