Each NFL season, every team has a player that bears a little added attention. So which performer could turn the corner for the Buffalo Bills in ’17?
Welcome to yet another 32-team series from End Zone Score. In recent months, we took the time to look at each club’s best offseason addition. We even dabbled into some pertinent and historical numbers.
Every NFL season features players that come into their own after a slow start to their careers. It’s tough to tell when each performer’s coming-put party will take place. Some are immediate successes. Others take longer due to numerous circumstances, but they prove to be worth the wait. Here we will try and pinpoint a player from each team in the league that we feel is on the verge of putting it altogether.
WR Andre Holmes
With the notable exception of blazed Sammy Watkins, the Buffalo Bills overhauled their wide receiving corps this offseason. Gone via free agency are Robert Woods (Los Angeles Rams), Marquise Goodwin (San Francisco 49ers) and Justin Hunter (Pittsburgh Steelers). Meanwhile, Marcus Easley was released and has yet to latch on with another club.
Enter veteran newcomers such as Corey Brown (Carolina Panthers), Jeremy Butler (Los Angeles Chargers) and Rod Streater (49ers). The team also used a second-round selection in April on East Carolina wideout Zay Jones. The Bills also signed one-time Dallas Cowboys’ and Oakland Raiders’ receiver Andre Holmes. Team play-by-play and host John Murphy (via BuffaloBills.com) came away with a positive impression from the 29-year-old pro following the team’s OTAs in late May.
So how does a five-year veteran suddenly emerge as an up-and-comer? In his four seasons with the Silver and Black, Holmes hauled in a total of 100 passes for 1,451 yards and 12 touchdowns. Nearly half of those catches (47) came in 2014, while he’s totaled only a combined 28 grabs the past two seasons. He took a big-time back seat to wideouts Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper these past two years.
Now he could be the starter opposite of Watkins. And don’t be surprised when he surpasses those modest career numbers of ’14 (47 receptions, 693 yards) with the help of quarterback Tyrod Taylor and the threat of a Buffalo Bills’ ground game that has led the NFL in rushing yards each of the past two seasons.