The free-agency period has been good one way or another for every NFL team. Hence, it’s time to take a look at the positives in our newest series for End Zone Score. Which newcomer to the club was the franchise’s best offseason move and why? We got things started with the 2016 last-place teams in the eight divisions. You can get caught up on the entire series by clicking right here. Now we are onto the clubs that finished third. And that means the Buffalo Bills are in the spotlight.
SS Micah Hyde
A lot of things went wrong for the team from Orchard Park this past season. A 0-2 start morphed into four consecutive victories. But the Buffalo Bills would go onto lose seven of its final 10 contests and a head coach known for defense failed to live up to expectations. Hence Rex Ryan saw his tenure with the team cut short after 31 total games. He was let go before the team’s 2016 season finale vs. the New York Jets.
In 2014, under coordinator Jim Schwartz, this was a club that allowed the fourth-fewest yards per game in the NFL. The Bills also led the league with 54 sacks. In two years under Ryan, Buffalo was ranked 19th in total defense each season. But what was really disturbing was the way this unit played against the run this past season. Only three teams in the NFL allowed more yards per game on the ground.
Strong safety Micah Hyde won’t solve all of those woes. But he’s a versatile defender who can also serve as a fifth cornerback if called upon. The former Green Bay Packers standout is also a terrific threat on punt returns. New head coach Sean McDermott, formerly the defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers, has to be thrilled to have such a weapon at his disposal. Combine this addition with the hopeful comeback of inside linebacker Reggie Ragland (who missed his rookie season with a knee injury) and there could be some serious optimism when it comes to this unit.