Bills Named Best Fit to Add Veteran Safety With ‘Outstanding’ Production

Justin Simmons

Getty The New York Jets were named a top landing spot for All-Pro safety Justin Simmons.

The Buffalo Bills saw a big change in the secondary this offseason, losing longtime safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer who were leaders both on and off the field.

While the Bills tried to offset the departures by drafting Utah safety Cole Bishop in the second round, one analyst suggests they could bring in another veteran to help fill the void. Marcus Mosher of The 33rd Team suggested the Bills could be the best fit for two-time Pro Bowl safety Justin Simmons, who remains a free agent after being released by the Denver Broncos earlier this offseason.

“While the Bills are high on Bishop, asking him to be a Day 1 starter on a Super Bowl–caliber team might be too much. He would better fit as a No. 3 safety, at least as a rookie,” Mosher wrote.

“The top safety on the market is none other than Justin Simmons, who was released by the Denver Broncos earlier this offseason. Simmons is an incredible athlete with outstanding ball production (30 interceptions since 2016).”

Justin Simmons Called ‘Clear Upgrade’ for Bills

Mosher suggested that Simmons could be an immediate boost for a Bills secondary that has seen some major changes and could serve as a stop-gap that allows the team to work in Bishop at a slower pace.

“He isn’t quite as dynamic as he was earlier in his career and will turn 31 during the 2024 season, but he is a clear upgrade for the Bills,” Mosher wrote. “He would be a welcome addition to a young safety room that could use some leadership. Simmons isn’t a long-term solution, but he would be an excellent stop-gap option until Bishop is ready to take the job.”

Simmons is coming off a season where he earned Pro Bown and second-team All-Pro honors, making 70 total tackles with three interceptions and eight pass defenses. He has also been very durable, appearing in at least 15 games in six of the last seven seasons and at least 12 games in all eight of his NFL seasons.

Potential Return for Micah Hyde

There is still a chance the Bills could look to a familiar face for some veteran leadership in the back of the secondary. In a May appearance in Buffalo at his charity softball tournament, Hyde told reporters that he is only considering two options for the next phase of his career.

“It’s Bills or retire,” the All-Pro safety told reporters on May 16, via Sal Capaccio of WGR 550.

The Bills are open to a return as well, with general manager Brandon Beane saying the team would be ready once Hyde comes to a final decision on retirement.

“Bills GM Brandon Beane said he doesn’t think Micah Hyde has ‘shut the door’ on playing and that the Bills ‘definitely wouldn’t shut the door to ever bringing a Micah Hyde back if he decides to play,’ ” ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg wrote on X. “Beane emphasized that he doesn’t know if Hyde is decided either way right now.”

The Bills did add some other veteran help at safety, bringing in Mike Edwards in free agency.

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