3 free agents Bills must target after 2024 NFL Draft


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The Buffalo Bills have signed their primary free agents, drafted their prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft, and are giving a chance to a host of undrafted rookies. This means the Bills 2024 roster is almost in place and ready to head to training camp. However, before the league heads out for its offseason vacation, there are still a few free agents available who can round out rosters and become difference-makers if they make the team. With that in mind, here are three Bills free agent targets after the NFL draft.

So, where can the Bills use free agents at this point?

Well, the offense is pretty well set. The team added offensive line (Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, La’El Collins), wide receiver (Keon Coleman, Chase Claypool), and running back (Ray Davis, Frank Gore Jr.) depth in the draft and free agency. The one spot they could still use a little more is at wideout.

On defense, the team is stacked at linebacker and solid on the defensive line. That said, every team can always use one more pass-rusher to help get after the quarterback. And despite drafting Cole Bishop in the second round, adding more depth at safety would help, too.

Even with all the cuts the Bills made this offseason, there still isn’t a lot of salary cap space to be given out. Still, if Buffalo can find some deals, these free agents would be well worth a shot.

S Micah Hyde

The Bills marked the end of an era this offseason, cutting longtime safety stalwarts Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer this offseason. While the Miami Dolphins jumped in and snapped Poyer up right away, Hyde is still sitting on the free agent market.

Rookie Cole Bishop and last season’s free-agent acquisition Taylor Rapp will be the starting safeties this season with Damar Hamlin behind them. Despite being a national hero, the Bills would be more comfortable with Hamlin as the team’s fourth safety instead of their third.

If Hyde makes it to training camp still a free agent the Bill should seriously consider bringing him back. Is he still the same player who was a second-team All-Pro twice and part of the best safety tandem in the league for a half-decade? No. But he’s a leader who has been with the organization since 2017, and in a backup role can still provide a lot for the defense.

EDGE Myjai Sanders

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Myjai Sanders (41) against the New England Patriots at State Farm Stadium.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills roster has Gregory Rousseau, AJ Epenesa, Von Miller, and a host of other lesser pass-rushers on the outside including the intriguing fifth-round flyer out of Troy, Javon Solomon.

If Buffalo is going to sign one more free agent on the edge, it will likely be an older veteran, perhaps one they know well such as Shaq Lawson or Jerry Hughes. However, why not take a chance on a free agent with a little more upside than that?

Myjai Sanders was a standout pass rusher at Cincinnati and a third-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2022 NFL Draft. He managed 3.0 sacks as a rookie but got hurt and the NFC West team let him go. He signed on with the Houston Texans last season but didn’t get much run.

While Sanders doesn’t have anywhere near the resume of a Lawson or Hughes, he only turns 26 in July and still has some of the promise that made him a Day 2 pick just two years ago.

Plus, the Cardinals have a recent history of giving up on defensive players quickly if they can’t figure out exactly how to use them. Isaiah Simmons is the most recent example, and although he hasn’t shined yet with the New York Giants, he is still a young, intriguing player. Haason Reddick is the most glaring example. The Cards never really put him in the best spot to succeed, and now he’s a multi-time Pro Bowler.

We don’t know if Sanders is more Simmons or Reddick, but even with a small chance he could become the latter makes him worth a flyer for the Bills.

WR Michael Thomas

After trading Stefon Diggs to the Texans, Brandon Beane has done his best to put together a young, interesting wide receiver room for 2024. Keon Coleman, Khalil Shakir, Curtis Samuel, Chase Claypool, Mack Hollins, and Justin Shorter could come together and become a solid squad for Josh Allen.

That said, the team is missing an established veteran who has come up big in big moments before.

Former New Orleans Saints star Michael Thomas has struggled with injuries and inconsistent quarterback play the last four seasons. In fact, he’s only played in 20 games since the end of the 2019 campaign.

At 31, Thomas might be shot physically, but with a change of scenery, a clean bill of health, and some Allen magic, there is a chance he could return to his three-time Pro Bowl, two-time All-Pro form.

Being able to sign Thomas comes down to what he wants. Some middling team with cap space will likely be willing to give him a relatively big, albeit short-term, deal this offseason. With the Bills, he’d have to take a much smaller one-year contract, but the AFC East franchise will likely give him the best chance to win and rehabilitate his career.

If that’s something that interests the former star pass-catcher, having a solid vet like that in the mix could be huge for the Bills offense.