Bills RB Sends Strong Message on QB Josh Allen: ‘People Don’t Realize’

Nyheim. Hines

Getty Bills running back Nyheim Hines warms up at Paycor Stadium on January 02, 2023.

The Buffalo Bills have a lot of work to do in figuring out how to restructure for next season while staying under the salary cap, but they already have a considerable leg up knowing their franchise quarterback, Josh Allen, is locked in. While there were some peaks and valleys with his performance this past season, running back Nyheim Hines has nothing but high praise for the Bills’ leader.

Allen was Pro Football Focus‘ third-highest-ranked quarterback in the NFL, earning an impressive overall grade of 91.6, so Hines doesn’t need to convince anyone that the 26-year-old superstar is an elite talent, but the speedy veteran told Fox News Digital that there’s an aspect about the Wyoming alum that doesn’t get discussed enough.

“I think the biggest thing about Josh people might not realize is how smart he is,” Hines told the outlet on February 16. “Even if you watch him go through his progressions, he goes through his progressions fast, he’s a very, very smart quarterback. I think everybody’s so enamored with his athletic and physical ability, people don’t realize that guy’s smart.”

While the 6-foot-5, 237-pound quarterback’s ability to literally fly over defenders catches a lot of attention and his goofy sense of humor is well-known to Bills Mafia, “I don’t know if there’s a guy smarter than him. He’s in that top-tier of thinkers in the league,” Hines stated.

“I think that’s what makes him great because he knows when to make that throw or when to run and when not to run. That’s what I love about Josh, he’s a great leader. He’s real funny too. So, him and (Stefon) Diggs are always joking around. He makes you feel comfortable. He makes you feel welcome.”

The Bills’ general manager Brandon Beane told Sirius XM NFL on February 3 that Allen just needs to reel in the explosiveness sometimes.

“Josh had a really good year overall,” Beane said. “Probably had some moments where he was careless with the ball. That happens, though. We know who Josh is and he always believes there’s a play to be made and a lot of time he makes them. We always try to remind ourselves that you can’t get onto him because look at home many times he does make a play. This year more than others he did have some red zone turnovers, so we gotta look at why that happened.”

Beane Specifically Mentioned Getting Hines More Involved in Allen’s Offense Next Season

Nyheim Hines

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

During his end-of-year press conference, Beane said of Allen, “The only thing I’d get on him is he’s got too many bruises on him. And we’ve got to work on taking less hits. That’s the only reason I’m going to ever criticize Josh is just take less hits.”

Of course, in order for Allen to take less hits, the Bills need to tighten up their offensive line and have him run the ball less. During the 2022 NFL season, Allen made 124 rushing attempts for a total of 762 yards and seven touchdowns. In comparison, the Bills No. 1 running back, Devin Singletary, and pending unrestricted free agent, finished the year with 177 carries for 819 yards and five rushing touchdowns.

When Beane was asked if he needs more weapons around him to succeed, he specifically mentioned Hines, a player they acquired from the Colts just before the NFL trade deadline, as having a bigger role next year.

“I’d love to have the perfect line and I’d love to get as many weapons,” Beane answered. “We’re always looking. We added Nyheim in season. In which, it was to help our offense, as well, another weapon for Josh and also give us a weapon on special teams. I think Nyheim will be a guy in particular, having an offseason to learn.”

The Bills Will Likely Restructure Hines’ Contract

After assessing the Bills’ financial state, The Athletic‘s Joe Buscaglia deemed Hines as the most “realistic” cap casualty, not due to a lack of talent, but the way his contract was set up.

Hines’ deal has no guaranteed money following the conclusion of the 2022 NFL season, so Buffalo could release him and save nearly $5 million without any dead money on the books. “The Bills could save more money by cutting Hines than on any other non-core player, and it isn’t close. The cap hit likely needs to be addressed as is. So don’t be surprised if the Bills attempt to get Hines to agree to a pay cut to keep him and save cap dollars,” Buscaglia wrote.

However, Buffalo could free up nearly $20 million by restructuring Allen’s contract alone and Beane’s confident statement about Hines speaks volumes. Head coach Sean McDermott also mentioned Hines during his final press conference. “It’s something that I thought we could have done a better job with,” he said of his usage.

The 26-year-old had a total of 13 touches on offense in 11 game appearances, but his breakout two kickoff return touchdowns against the New England Patriots proved he can be a key factor on special teams, too.

The former fourth-round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft seems confident he’ll be back in Buffalo. He tweeted on Janaury 26, “All love #BillsMafia thanks for the amazing support through it all. We will come back stronger ❤️🙏🏽.”

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