Bills Fan Favorite Appears to Say Goodbye in Heartfelt Message

Tyrel Dodson

Getty Tyrel Dodson #53 of the Buffalo Bills against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Highmark Stadium on October 09, 2022.

The Buffalo Bills‘ 27-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals was devastating not only because they were completely outplayed and outmaneuvered during the AFC Divisional Playoff game in Orchard Park, but it also marked what would be the last “home” game at Highmark Stadium for several players.

Bills general manager Brandon Beane said during his end-of-year press conference that they had about $240 million on the books for next year, which is well over the 2023 salary cap, which “will be a record $224.8 million per club,” NFL Network‘s Tom Pelissero revealed on Monday, January 30.

While the Bills have yet to announce which players will become cap casualties, linebacker Tyrel Dodson sent out a tweet that strongly insinuated his tenure in Buffalo is done. Dodson tweeted on Sunday, January 29, “Buffalo, last 4 years have been amazing! Appreciate you guys for treating me like family! ❤️🫶🏽,” which caused much of Bills Mafia to do a double take.

Fans strongly reacted to Dodson’s message. One person tweeted, “Well crap. That sounds like a farewell. 😞,” while another person wrote, “I hope this doesn’t mean what I think it means but if it does.. we love you ❤️🫶🏼.”

“Good luck to you whatever the future holds,” one woman tweeted. “Would love to see you back! ❤️.”

While Dodson earned a $895,000 salary for the 2022 NFL season, predicts the market value for the fourth-year veteran will jump next season to $2.05 million.

Dodson Showed Flashes of Potential This Season

Tyrel Dodson

GettyTyrel Dodson #53 of the Buffalo Bills arrives prior to a game against the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Highmark Stadium.

Dodson, who first signed with the Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2019, was used primarily as a backup throughout the 2022 NFL season, but showed flashes of potential when he started in place of an injured Tremaine Edmunds against the Cleveland Browns in Week 11. The Texas A&M alum participated in 100% of the snaps for the first time in his career, per FOX Sports, and recorded 9 solo tackles and four assisted during the Bills’ 31-23 win.

During Dodson’s first start of the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5, Dodson recorded a sack, seven solo tackles, four assisted, and one for a loss. The 6-foot, 237-pound linebacker once again got the start against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving, but only recorded one tackle.

However, Dodson made a huge play during the Bills’ 34-31 win over the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card round. After Nyheim Hines botched the punt, Dodson quickly jumped to recover the football, which allowed Buffalo to retain possession at their own 32-yard line with 4:14 left in the third quarter.

It’s not yet clear if Dodson what Dodson’s future holds, but the 24-year-old linebacker faced a similar situation last year, as he was set to become an exclusive rights free agent if the Bills didn’t lock him down. In February 2021, Dodson expressed how thrilled he was to sign another one-year contract. “I AM GRATEFUL!! Man!! #BillsMafia,” Dodson tweeted.

The Bills Can’t Afford to Keep Everyone

Brandon Beane

GettyBuffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Beane looks on before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

While the record jump in the NFL’s salary cap will help the Bills restructure for next season, it’s still financially impossible for Beane to retain all his pending free agents. Josh Allen’s salary comes with a $39.7 million cap hit in 2023, per, Stefon Diggs’ new extension comes with an approximately $20.3 million hit, and Von Miller’s deal depletes another $18.7 million.

In addition to Edmunds, safety Jordan Poyer, and running back Devin Singletary, other key unrestricted free agents include linebacker A.J. Klein, guard Rodger Saffold, punter Sam Martin, backup quarterback Case Keenum, defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, defensive end Shaq Lawson, along with offensive linemen David Quessenberry and Greg Van Roten.

Aside from Dodson, restricted free agents include cornerbacks Dane Jackson and Cam Lewis.

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