4:53pm: A Bills spokesperson also says that Holmes has not signed (Twitter link via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com).
It seems that the Bills offered Holes a three-year, $4.5MM deal and the NFLPA accidentally documented it as a done deal rather than an offer. Now, the entire football world knows the exact terms of the Bills’ offer to Holmes, which could be detrimental to both sides. The deal could still go down, but as of right now, Holmes remains a free agent.
3:40pm: Hold up. Holmes took to Twitter to say that any reports of him signing with any team at this time are false. This is a strange development, particularly since ESPN’s report cites NFLPA documents.
3:29pm: It’s rare that NFL free agent deals become official before leaking out, but that’s exactly what happened with the Bills and wide receiver Andre Holmes. Holmes inked a three-year, $4.5MM deal with the Bills, according to NFLPA documents obtained by Mike Rodak of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The deal includes $2.425MM guaranteed.
Wide receiver was a big need for the Bills coming into free agency and the Holmes pickup doesn’t totally check that box. He can be a valuable supporting cast member behind star Sammy Watkins, but it would be a bit underwhelming to see the Bills go into the season with Watkins, Holmes, Dezmin Lewis, and free agent pickups Philly Brown and Jeremy Butler as their top five wide receivers. Walt Powell and Kolby Listenbee are also under contract, giving the team seven receivers in total.
Holmes, 28, spent the past four seasons in Oakland. The former undrafted free agent was a large part of the Raiders’ offense as recently as two years ago, as he posted 47 receptions for nearly 700 yards and four touchdowns during the 2014 campaign. In 2016, however, Holmes had only 14 catches with a larger emphasis on special teams.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.