Who are locks to make Buffalo Bills’ 53
Jul 25, 2023
The Buffalo Bills front office has a lot of decisions to make in the coming days and hours. Some of those are obvious and important.
But if we’re being honest, some of those positions on the team are already sorted out.
Here is our list of every player on the Bills roster that is already a roster lock to make the team on offense:
Josh Allen (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Roster locks: Josh Allen
More than likely, Kyle Allen will be Josh Allen’s backup after signing this offseason. But Kyle Allen and Matt Barkley’s spotty play in the summer make them non-locks.
James Cook (Getty)
Roster locks: James Cook
Similar to Kyle Allen, Damien Harris feels as good of a lock as you can be after signing this offseason. Following Nyheim Hines’ injury, Latavius Murray is close to a lock like Harris, but his age still makes one curious exactly how much of a lock he is.
Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
Roster locks: Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Deonte Harty, Khalil Shakir, Justin Shorter
Diggs needs little explanation. Davis, Shorter, and Shakir are still on their rookie contracts. Meanwhile, Harty signed this spring and his contract has him locked in for 2023.
Trent Sherfield currently feels like the next-closest thing to a roster lock in the receiver room. He’s played very well this summer.
Bills tight end Dalton Kincaid (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Roster locks: Dawson Knox, Dalton Kincaid
Knox just signed an extension last year and Kincaid was Buffalo’s first-round pick. Easy locks. Quintin Morris is most likely the No. 3 here because of his special teams prowess.
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Roster locks: Dion Dawkins, Spencer Brown, Mitch Morse, O’Cyrus Torrence, David Edwards, Connor McGovern, Ryan Bates
Dawkins and Morse fall into the category of being locks for their play and leadership. Their contracts play a part, too. The rest of the group, either because they’re playing on a rookie deal or have their contract constructed in a certain way, they’ll be locked in.
Yes, even Edwards. The Bills won’t really get any cap relief from letting him go. They’ll just add unneeded dead-cap space.
In terms of reserve roles, Nick Broeker is playing on a rookie deal but he’s a Round 7 pick. He could end up on the practice squad. David Quessenberry had an inside track to be the swing tackle but his inconsistent play doesn’t make him a lock for that anymore.
Bills linebacker Von Miller Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Roster locks: Von Miller, Greg Rousseau, Leonard Floyd
Both because of their talent as top-three pass rushers on the Bills roster and their contracts, Miller, Floyd, and Rousseau aren’t going anywhere.
But we have some wiggle room here on the rookie contract situation. Because of how deep Buffalo is on the edge, there’s a chance either AJ Epenesa or Boogie Basham is moved before the start of the season. Yes, they both are on rookie deals which means they would be cheaper to keep around, but that makes them appealing trade pieces, too.
That leads us to Shaq Lawson. He re-signed in Buffalo this offseason, but does not contribute on special teams as much as the younger duo. Once Miller returns from the PUP list, there’s a good chance someone has to go…
Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Roster locks: Ed Oliver, DaQuan Jones, Poona Ford, Tim Settle
Settle is locked in thanks to his contract restructuring. Jordan Phillips only just returned to the field following his shoulder injury. His future could depend on how comfortable the Bills coaching staff is with his health.
Matt Milano #58 of the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Roster locks: Matt Milano, Tyrel Dodson, Tyler Matakevich, Terrel Bernard, Dorian Williams
Dodson and Matakevich have their spots as important depth pieces but their contracts help, too. AJ Klein could prove to be one of these as well, but his deal isn’t working in his favor.
Baylon Spector is on his rookie deal like Williams and Bernard, but the practice squad is still a possibility. He isn’t factoring into the discussion to replace Tremaine Edmunds much anymore.
Kaiir Elam #24 of the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Roster locks: Tre’Davious White, Taron Johnson, Dane Jackson, Christian Benford
White and Johnson are cornerstones to the Bills secondary. At one point in time, the hope would have been that Kaiir Elam’s named would be in that same discussion. Instead, it’s either going to be Jackson or Benford at the No. 2 cornerback spot.
Elam ended up playing well into the second half against the Chicago Bears in Buffalo’s preseason finale. He’s more than likely going to make the roster, but is there a chance he’s traded? It’s entirely possible at this point.
Siran Neal’s versatility on defense and special-teams output make him an important piece. However, there are salary cap savings if he’s let go.
Cam Lewis was marked as both a depth safety and cornerback on the team’s depth chart. A good sign, but not locked sign for him.
Buffalo Bills safety Micah Hyde (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)
Roster locks: Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Taylor Rapp, Damar Hamlin
The safety position might be locked in from top-to-bottom. Following his cardiac arrest, Hamlin is has made an amazing recovery and made some plays during the preseason. He’s not perfect, but his contract helps him lock in a position.
Bills punter Sam Martin (USAT).
Roster locks: Tyler Bass, Reid Ferguson, Sam Martin
The Bills have three core special teamers. None of them had any competition this summer.
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