Bills Veteran on Hot Seat After Team Signs Ex-Falcons ‘Barbarian’ WR

Mack Hollins

Getty Former Falcons wide receiver Mack Hollins at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 10, 2023.

The Buffalo Bills are tweaking their offense ahead of the 2024 NFL season. After releasing six veterans and restructuring numerous contracts, Bills general manager Brandon Beane is making moves in free agency.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler announced on Wednesday, March 13, that the Bills were signing former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mack Hollins. According to Fowler, Hollins agreed to a one-year contract worth up to $3 million.

Last season, Hollins recorded just 18 receptions for 259 yards. With the Las Vegas Raiders in 2022, however, he registered a career-high 57 catches for 690 yards and 4 touchdowns. The 6-foot-4, 221-pounder is also a core special teams asset and blocker. “He’s like a barbarian type of guy,” Falcons wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge told The Athletic of Hollins.

With Hollins heading to Buffalo, there’s doubt over whether the Bills will retain wide receiver Trent Sherfield. Sherfield is a free agent after signing a one-year, $1.7 million contract last offseason.

A fan asked on X if Hollins was a replacement for Sherfield. WGR 550’s Sal Capaccio responded, “This is exactly how I’ve thought of Hollins. Doesn’t mean they can’t/won’t bring Sherfield back, but feels like that comp is right as far as role.”

Sherfield, who already purchased a home in Buffalo, will need to earn his roster spot even if he’s re-signed. The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia wrote, “Sherfield didn’t live up to a strong spring and preseason during the regular season, but he played all three positions, played special teams and quickly became a presence in the locker room.

“He also grew pretty close to top receiver Stefon Diggs, so bringing back Sherfield, even if just for the spring and summer and trying to get him back to the practice squad, could be quite meaningful to the wide receivers unit. If he does make the team, ideally, he would be its fifth, sixth or seventh receiver.”

Last season, Sherfield recorded 11 receptions for 86 yards and 1 touchdown.

Mack Hollins Is Eccentric, Belovingly Called ‘A Caveman’ By Former Falcons Teammates

Originally drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL draft, Hollins’ career has been a rollercoaster. After catching 16 receptions for 226 yards and a score in his rookie season, he missed all of 2018 with an injury.

After the Eagles waived the North Carolina alum late in the 2019 season, he signed with the Miami Dolphins. During his two-year tenure in Miami, he caught a total of 30 passes for 399 yards and 5 touchdowns. After one season with the Raiders, he signed with the Falcons.

While Falcons receiver Drake London told The Athletic he’s “a caveman,” as Hollins prefers to go barefoot and thinks eating with utensils “makes you soft,” he was beloved in the locker room.

Hollins earned high praise from his teammates in Atlanta. “Mack came in and set the standard for us,” Hodge added. “He’s a guy that holds you accountable for everything you do. If you say you set goals to do something, then he’s going to remind you every day. A lot of the guys respect him for that. He’s a great leader for us.

The Bills Are Still in the Market for a Wide Receiver

Adding Hollins does not mean the Bills are not still in the market for a wide receiver. After Gabe Davis signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency, Beane needs to find another deep-threat receiver for quarterback Josh Allen. Beane may look for a low-cost veteran option in free agency, or draft a receiver in the first round in the 2024 NFL draft.

The Bills met with several prospective wide receivers at the NFL Scouting Combine, including Florida State’s Keon Coleman. Buffalo was also linked to Georgia’s Ladd McConkey.

With the No. 28 overall pick, Bills head coach Sean McDermott is looking for a player to make an immediate impact. “It’s a young man’s game right now with the amount of rookies that are playing and playing impactful snaps around the league,” McDermott told reporters.

“We need our young players to come in and be ready to play and able to play and so I think that’s an important piece of it for us here that these interviews. We really get to the bottom of who these players are not just as players but who they are as people in their DNA.”

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