The inital wave of free agency from the 2022 NFL offseason is over. The Buffalo Bills were players in that pool.
Looking ahead, the Bills will be at the upcoming NFL draft as well. Buffalo holds seven totals picks there and some of them will change how we look at the team’s roster.
But for now, here are winners and losers from the Bills’ locker room so far this offseason:
Winner: CB Dane Jackson
Cornerback Dane Jackson #30 of the Buffalo Bills . (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Heading toward the draft the Bills’ biggest area of concern is cornerback. While that might be bad for the front office and Buffalo fans, it’s not for Dane Jackson.
Assuming Tre White is still recovering from his knee injury when the 2022 regular season approaches, Jackson is currently the Bills’ No. 1 corner.
Winner: DT Ed Oliver
Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver (91). (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)
Buffalo’s massive grab during free agency was Von Miller. The future Hall of Famer was a great tag team partner with Aaron Donald with the Los Angeles Rams last season. Oliver could prove be Miller’s next go-to teammate in the middle of the D-line.
Winner: LB Tyrel Dodson
Buffalo Bills linebacker Tyrel Dodson (53) . (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
In what was a salary cap related move, the Bills released linebacker AJ Klein to free up some dollars this offseason. Klein was not a starter on defense, however, when either Tremaine Edmunds or Matt Milano went down, Klein was always the next man up.
Dodson appears to be the next Klein.
Winner: P Matt Haack
Buffalo Bills punter Matt Haack . (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)
Haack took a pay cut to stay with the Bills. That’s how poor his first season was in Buffalo.
As of now, it’s Haack and Haack alone at punter. One is still likely to join him, but hasn’t yet. Good news for him.
Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary (26). (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
The Bills could have opted to bring in a featured rusher off the open market like Leonard Fournette. Instead, Singletary and Moss will have a chance to fight another day for their spots against Johnson. That’s a win.
Winner: WR Gabriel Davis
Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis (13) Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Last offseason, Emmanuel Sanders signed with the Bills. He’s still a free agent currently and hasn’t been brought back.
Clear to see Buffalo should be handing receiver Davis their No. 2 receiver spot across from Stefon Diggs in 2022.
Losers: DEs AJ Epenesa, Boogie Basham
Bills A.J. Epenesa
Jg 072821 Bills Epenesa
For the team, Miller’s signing is huge. For young defensive ends, it is not.
In the long run it certainly could prove to be a learning experience being teammates with Miller. As far as the next year or two is concerned, Miller will take away snaps that could’ve gone to younger guys, namely Epenesa and Basham. Greg Rousseau will still likely get his snaps, or at least by comparison he will.
Loser: OL Cody Ford
Buffalo Bills guard Cody Ford (74) . (AP/ Photo Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Not only did Ryan Bates and Ike Boettger both re-sign with the Bills, Rodger Saffold joined as well. Those three are easily ahead of Ford on the depth chart at guard. Ford has proven to be a second-round bust for Buffalo.
Loser: TE Tommy Sweeney
Buffalo Bills tight end Tommy Sweeney (89) (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
OJ Howard signed a one-year deal with the Bills but will have to find a way onto the field since Dawson Knox is likely going to be the team’s No. 1 tight end. Even if Howard’s addition means more two tight end sets, it’s bad news for Sweeney. He could even potentially be cut at the end of training camp, but that’s very far down the line.
Loser: WR Isaiah McKenzie
Isaiah McKenzie #19 of the Buffalo Bills . (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
McKenzie has had a bit of a roller coaster type of offseason. When Cole Beasley was released, it looked like McKenzie would slide right into his starting spot at slot receiver.
Not so fast. McKenzie will now have to battle it out with Jamison Crowder, who signed a one-year deal with Buffalo. McKenzie’s return man spot is also not guaranteed.