Bills Urged to Add $61 Million Safety as Final Piece for Defense

Getty The Denver Broncos selected Justin Simmons in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft.

The Buffalo Bills will enter the 2024 season with a very different secondary after losing three of the team’s longest-tenured players.

The Bills released cornerback Tre’Davious White and chose not to resign safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde. While there is still a possibility that Hyde could return, Bleacher Report’s Matt Holder suggested that the Bills could take aim at another veteran to round out the secondary.

In an article breaking down the offseason to-do list for the Bills, Holder wrote that the team could take a run at free agent Justin Simmons to add another proven veteran to the safety group.

“The Buffalo Bills let Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde go during free agency, leaving the defense with a need at safety,” Holder wrote. “While the hope is that Taylor Rapp, Mike Edwards or rookie Cole Bishop step up and become formidable starters this year, it couldn’t hurt to explore the remaining free agents and bring in someone like Justin Simmons before training camp.”

Pro Bowl Safety Looking for New Opportunity

The Bills released the trio of veterans as part of a flurry of cap-saving moves that also included the release of veteran center Mitch Morse. While the moves freed up close to $35 million in combined cap space, they also stripped the team of veteran leadership in the secondary.

Simmons could help fill the void. He was set to enter the final year of a four-year, $61 million contract with the Denver Broncos when he was released in March in a cost-saving move. The two-time Pro Bowl safety said he saw an opportunity to spend time with family and carefully consider his next move.

“When one door closes and another one will open, and that’ll open at some point here in the future,” Simmons Simmons told reporter Mike Klis of 9News on June 1. “But just trying to stay faithful and patient and trusting in the Lord’s plan for my family and I’s next step, whatever that may be.’’

Simmons has continued to play at a high level, making 70 total tackles with three interceptions and eight passes defensed in 2023.

The Bills have been known to make some meaningful late additions to the roster. The team signed veteran edge rusher Leonard Floyd in June of last year, adding a player who would go on to lead the team in sacks.

Potential Return for Micah Hyde

The Bills are also awaiting a final decision from Hyde, who said he was considering retirement but would be open to returning for another season in Buffalo.

Speaking to reporters at his charity softball game in Buffalo, Hyde said he had not yet reached a decision and was instead focusing on enjoying time with his family.

“I feel like I’ve been an open book. You guys know everything that I know,” Hyde said, via Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News on X. “I got away after the season, got out to San Diego. My days consist of working out, swimming with the kids, just trying to continue to help my wife out with the kids, and continue to physically and mentally prepare myself — if anything were to happen.”

Read More