fbpx

Buffalo Bills Free Agents 2022: Emmanuel Sanders, Levi Wallace, and Mario Addison could all be available this offseason

Who are the Buffalo Bills' free agents in 2022, and which of them might the team look to bring back before they hit the open market?

The Buffalo Bills have some intriguing free agents in 2022, but for the large part, the damage to their roster appears to be minimal. Let’s examine which players could hit free agency this offseason and which ones the Bills may look to bring back in 2022.

Heading into the offseason, be sure to check out the top 2022 free agents at each position in the NFL.

Buffalo Bills 2022 Free Agents

The Bills have built this roster keenly. They have a defense stacked with both young stars and solid veterans. On offense, they have built a fascinating group around QB Josh Allen. That is crucial for a Bills team that is projected to have just under $10 million in cap space as it stands this offseason.

All players are unrestricted free agents unless stated.

Top Bills offensive free agents

The Bills’ offense is in a reasonably good place for their 2022 NFL free agents. Not many of their top players across the offense are likely to depart this offseason. Buffalo has a handful of depth options possibly testing the market, so they’ll need to address that.

Two key contributors from this year are set to be free agents. One of them will be a tough decision for the Bills ahead of free agency, while the other had a devastating injury that could leave his options limited as a free agent in 2022.

Emmanuel Sanders | WR

Emmanuel Sanders finished the regular season as Buffalo’s third-leading receiver, behind only Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley. Sanders largely filled the role the Bills wanted when they brought him in. However, injuries and a decreasing role in the second half of the season have left his future in Buffalo in doubt. Sanders finished the year with 42 receptions, but just 14 of those came from Week 10 onward.

Featured Story
NFL News and Rumors: Latest on Bears, Broncos, Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster, Kellen Moore, and more

Additionally, with 72 targets, Sanders had his lowest catch rate since 2017 (58.3%). Some of that is reflected in the change of his role compared to previous years. Sanders had an aDOT (average depth of target) of 15 in 2021, compared to 9.5, 10.4, and 8.8 in the prior three years. With Gabriel Davis entering his third year, it will be intriguing to see whether the Bills feel Davis is ready to be their full-time third receiving option, or if they want a veteran presence in that role.

Ike Boettger | G

The injury for Ike Boettger in Week 16 was devastating. The guard had started nine straight heading into Week 16 and was making a case to remain in Buffalo. The problem for Boettger this offseason is two-fold. The Achilles injury is going to be a major red flag for teams. His performances were not quite good enough to overcome the health concerns that teams will have for a longer-term investment.

Hopefully, this injury is not the end of Boettger’s career, but it will be tough for him to get back to a high level for the 2022 season. It would not be a surprise if he ended up back in Buffalo on a one-year, veteran minimum deal hoping to prove he can be a valuable asset when healthy at some point during the 2022 season.

Top Bills defensive free agents

Much like the offense, the Bills do not have many key free agents on the defensive side of the ball in 2022. The majority of their key contributors are either on rookie contracts or signed long-term. Nevertheless, they will have a handful of intriguing defensive free agents, with a heavy focus on their defensive line.

Levi Wallace | CB

Before we get to the big guys, arguably the premier free agent on the Bills this season is CB Levi Wallace. Only Micah Hyde has played more snaps on defense than Wallace’s 994 this season. Over the course of his rookie contract, Wallace has been a valuable member of this defense, only allowing a completion rate above 60% once in four years.

The problem for the Bills is how many resources they can use on the CB position. They already locked up Tre’Davious White and Taron Johnson long-term, and the Bills are projected to have less than $10 million in cap space this offseason. While they can certainly open more space, putting more resources into the CB position might not be ideal. It looks like Wallace will hit free agency, where he should be among the top options at the position.

Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison, and Efe Obada | EDGE

The Bills have invested a lot of assets in their defensive line in recent years. Included in that are the likes of A.J. Epenesa, Gregory Rousseau, and Carlos Basham Jr. The three of them were drafted using a first and two second-round selections in the past two seasons. Therefore, they were drafted to be the future of the Bills’ pass rush. That investment now means the Bills have decisions to make around the future of Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison, and Efe Obada.

In his ninth season with Buffalo, Hughes led outside pass rushers in snaps. However, his impact on the field was arguably the lowest of the group that the Bills had this season (2 sacks and 7 QB hits). He should be an easy choice for the Bills to allow to hit free agency in 2022.

Addison is a tougher decision after leading the team with 7 sacks this season. On top of that, he forced 2 fumbles, so he’s definitely a difference-maker for the defense. His impact outside of those sacks was minimal, which should arguably lead Buffalo to allow him to test free agency rather than investing heavily in him with their other options available.

Obada presents an intriguing case after his strong finish. He had 2.5 of his 3.5 sacks from Week 12 onward. Limited playing time restricted his opportunities to contribute more widely in the defense. However, of these three, he would likely be the cheapest to keep. Obada could be an intriguing rotational option with the three young pass rushers in 2022.

Harrison Phillips | IDL

This decision looks clear-cut for the Bills in the 2022 offseason. Harrison Phillips appears to have established himself as the clear second option at defensive tackle alongside Ed Oliver. With the Bills able to save just over $4 million by releasing Star Lotulelei, that money could be invested in Phillips, who should provide more for the Bills both immediately and in the future.

The Bills’ remaining free agents in 2022

  • Mitchell Trubisky, QB
  • Matt Breida, RB
  • Taiwan Jones, RB
  • Jake Kumerow, WR
  • Isaiah McKenzie, WR
  • Bobby Hart, OT
  • Ryan Bates, OT (RFA)
  • Vernon Butler, IDL
  • Justin Zimmer, IDL (RFA)
  • Bryan Cox Jr., EDGE
  • Tyrel Dodson, LB (ERFA)
  • Siran Neal, CB

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS!
FEEDBACK

Have some thoughts you want to share on this article? Notice anything that you think might not be accurate? Join in on the conversation by clicking here to jump to the bottom of the page to get involved!

MORE THAN FOOTBALL WITH TREY WINGO
PODCAST

Follow along each week in our NFL Podcast - More than Football with Trey Wingo. Trey and co-host Brett Yarris host an exclusive interview series where they sit down with some of the most prolific names in sports media and the football world to dive deeper into the people who did More Than Football. Follow and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform, including Apple and Spotify.

GET INVOLVED IN THE CONVERSATION!
LET'S TALK

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

FEATURED
PFN NEWSLETTER

Every day, get free NFL updates sent straight to your inbox!