Former Bills WR Posts 3-Word Message After Signing With Ravens

Deonte Harty

Getty Former Bills wide receiver Deonte Harty at Highmark Stadium on December 31, 2023.

Before the start of free agency, the Buffalo Bills abruptly cut six veterans, including wide receiver Deonte Harty.

Harty signed a two-year, $9.5 million contract with Buffalo last March. The All-Pro’s base salary in 2024 was $2.6 million with a cap hit of $5.7 million. The Bills cleared over $4 million with his release.

A month later, Harty’s finally found a new home in the NFL and he’s pumped. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero broke the news that Harty was signing a one-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens on April 10. After the deal was announced, Harty posted a brief message on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“BALTIMORE!! IM HOME,” Harty posted.

The kick-returner, who grew up in Baltimore, is also taking a hometown discount. Harty signed a one-year, $1.29 million deal with the Ravens.

While Harty never became a complimentary piece of the Bills offense, he showed off his explosiveness against the Miami Dolphins in the regular season finale, breaking a franchise record with a 96-yard punt return touchdown that shifted the momentum of the game. The Bills ultimately won 21-14, clinching the No. 2 seed, and winning the AFC East championship title.

The 26-year-old was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, but that success didn’t continue into the postseason. Harty finished the regular season with 15 receptions for 150 yards and one score. In two postseason games, he caught 2-of-2 targets for 37 yards.

Harty holds no ill-ill towards Buffalo following his departure. He posted on March 6, “Bills mafia!! It’s been a pleasure. Thank you for embracing me and my family! Love always 💙🫶🏽.”

With Deonte Harty & Nyheim Hines Gone, the Bills Still Need to Address Special Teams

Nyheim Hines

GettyNyheim Hines #20 of the Buffalo Bills scores a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium on December 17, 2022.

When the Bills cut Harty, they also released wide receiver Nyheim Hines, who missed the entirety of 2023 following an offseason jet ski accident. The Bills saved approximately $4.6 million by cutting Hines, who went on to sign a one-year, $1.9 million contract with the Cleveland Browns.

With Harty and Hines gone, Buffalo needs to address special teams, especially after the league approved new kickoff rules for the 2024 NFL season.

Before the NFL approved the new rules, Bills head coach Sean McDermott knew it could affect their offseason plans. “When you look at the kickoff rule, if that goes through, you’re gonna need someone to occupy that spot – or maybe more than one,” McDermott said, per team reporter Patrick Warren.

One person who could fill that role is wide receiver Curtis Samuel, who recently signed a three-year, $24 million contract with the Bills. Samuel doubled as a kick returner during his tenure with the Carolina Panthers in 2017 and 2018.

Bills general manager Brandon Beane is open to the idea. “We see him as a guy that, yes, can line up in the backfield, can line up at receiver, gadgets, he could be a returner for us,” he said.

The Bills are Expected to Draft a WR in the First Round of the NFL Draft

After the Bills traded superstar Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans, the Bills’ most pressing need is finding a new X-receiver. As it stands, the top receivers on the roster are Samuel, Khalil Shakir, Mack Hollins, and tight end Dalton Kincaid.

With a deep class of receivers entering the 2024 NFL draft, Beane is predicted to trade up and snag a top prospect like Malik Nabers, Rome Odunze, Marvin Harrison Jr., or Brian Thomas Jr. However, Buffalo could also stand pat at No. 28, and select Keon Coleman, Ladd McConkey, or Xavier Legette.

Beane strongly suggested they won’t just be adding talent via the draft. “There’s still veterans out there. We’ll still look and see if there’s someone that would fit,” Beane told reporters. “And even if we don’t get the player that everyone is looking for in April, it doesn’t mean there’s not other ways to do it. We have to remember the roster building is always continuing.”

“We don’t play games until September,” Beane added. “I’m going to turn over every stone to add depth and competition.”