Free Agency Review: Bills Make Serious Upgrade by Adding Von Miller to Defense

Free Agency Review: Bills Make Serious Upgrade by Adding Von Miller to Defense
By Marcus Mosher
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The Buffalo Bills were just 13 seconds away from going to the AFC Championship game for the second consecutive season. However, we know how that game ended. As a result, the Bills had to make some aggressive moves this offseason to make sure they can stop the top quarterbacks in the conference when it matters the most.

But what have the Bills accomplished so far during free agency? What has caught the interests in the New York sports betting community? Let’s take a look at the players they gained, lost and their current Super Bowl odds:

Players Acquired by Bills

  • Signed: G Rodger Saffold
  • Signed: DT Tim Settle
  • Signed: DT DaQuan Jones
  • Signed: WR Jamison Crowder
  • Signed: LB Von Miller
  • Signed: TE O.J. Howard

The biggest move the Bills made this offseason was signing Miller to a monster deal. The two-time Super Bowl champion signed a deal that will pay him around $17.5 million per year for the next five years. Miller is coming off a Super Bowl run in which he recorded four sacks in the playoffs. He’s not quite as athletic as he was during his peak, but he still can get to the quarterback when it matters the most. If Miller was on this team in 2021, the Bills are probably the current Super Bowl champions.

Another big pickup was Crowder, who was a highly productive slot receiver for the Jets over the last three seasons. While he doesn’t project as a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver for Buffalo, he is a very reliable option in the middle of the field. Even at the age of 28, he is an upgrade over Cole Beasley in the slot.

The Bills also added veteran tight end Howard to the roster, and he should work behind Dawson Knox. Howard played in all 17 games for the Buccaneers last year and is now two years removed from his Achilles injury. He is only 27 years old and fits perfectly as the No. 2 tight end on this offense. Knox and Howard will give the Buffalo offense some more versatility and size in the middle of the field.

Buffalo also added veteran guard Saffold, who was released by the Tennessee Titans earlier this month. His play decreased over the last few years, but he has a ton of experience (157 career starts), and he's a dominant run blocker. If nothing else, he should be a fine one-year rental for Buffalo.

Players Lost by Bills

  • Released: LB A.J. Klein
  • Released: G Jon Feliciano
  • Released: T Daryl Williams
  • Released: WR Cole Beasley
  • CB Levi Wallace: signed as free agent by Pittsburgh
  • DT Harrison Phillips: signed as free agent by Minnesota

The Bills had to make a few tough decisions to free up cap space to pay someone like Miller. That included releasing slot receiver Beasley and starting right tackle Williams. They were also unable to retain Wallace and Phillips, two key starters over the last two seasons.

While the Bills did have to move on from a few starters, the other additions they made this offseason have more than made up for it. They are a much better team now than they were at the end of the 2021 season, and that gives them a realistic shot at making the Super Bowl in 2023.

2022-23 Super Bowl Odds

According to DraftKings Sportsbook New York, the Bills are the current Super Bowl favorites (+650). They have arguably the best roster in the NFL and a cyborg at quarterback in Josh Allen. However, they play in the AFC, which looks to be as competitive as ever. Their road to the Super Bowl could include facing quarterbacks such as Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, etc. It’s going to be extremely difficult for the Bills to come out of the AFC this season, but their team is as good as ever. For the third consecutive year, the Bills are legitimate Super Bowl contenders.

To stay updated on the best sites for New York football betting, keep an eye on EmpireStakes.com.

If you missed it, here are the free agency reviews for the New York Giants and New York Jets.

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Contributors

Marcus Mosher covers the NFL, NFL Draft and NFL news for EmpireStakes.com. The managing editor of The Raiders Wire is also a contributor to The Athletic DFW, Pro Football Weekly and FanSided, and previously wrote for FanRag Sports. He hosts Locked On Cowboys Podcast.

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