The Bills will beat the buzzer by acquiring a running back. Nyheim Hines is Buffalo-bound, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The longtime Colts passing-down back/return man surfaced in trade rumors Monday night and will join a 6-1 Bills team.
Hines will head to Buffalo in a package that includes Zack Moss going to Indianapolis. The Bills are trading Moss and a conditional sixth-round pick to the Colts in exchange for Hines, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Moss is signed through 2023.
This move comes after Buffalo was involved in talks for both Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara. While Hines is not on that level, he has been a longtime Colts complementary piece. After signing an Indianapolis extension last year, Hines is signed through 2024. Momentum began to build toward a Hines deal earlier Tuesday, and his three-year, $18MM pact will change hands.
A part of the Colts’ impact 2018 draft class, Hines has been the team’s passing-down back supplementing both Marlon Mack and Jonathan Taylor, catching at least 40 passes in each of his four full seasons. Hines topped 60 receptions in 2018 and 2020, displaying rare durability at his position. Hines has missed just one game as a pro.
Buffalo’s backfield equation changed in the spring, when a J.D. McKissic agreement did not lead to a finalized contract. McKissic reneged on the deal and went back to Washington. The Bills then drafted James Cook in Round 2 this year. Cook had overtaken Moss as the AFC East leaders’ No. 2 back. It will be interesting to see how the Bills use Cook now that Hines is in this Devin Singletary-fronted mix.
Hines, who turns 26 next week, has also worked as Indy’s punt returner since his second season. The North Carolina State product produced two punt-return touchdowns in that 2019 campaign. As they gun for their first championship since the AFL days, the Bills are undoubtedly planning to take advantage of Hines’ versatility. Hines has 19 career touchdowns, with a career-high seven coming in 2020.
The Bills inquired about McCaffrey this offseason and could have outflanked the 49ers by offering a first-round pick. But Buffalo viewed a first as too rich for the ex-Carolina star and did not make an offer. The team asked the Saints about Kamara recently, but New Orleans — which has not otherwise been linked to trading the five-time Pro Bowler — rebuffed that inquiry. Hines could be a nice consolation prize.
This does qualify as a seller trade for the Colts, but they have underperformed to start the season and are now breaking in another new quarterback (Sam Ehlinger). Moss will be part of the team’s Jonathan Taylor backup crew. The Bills took Moss in the 2020 second round and used him extensively during the first season and change of his career. The Utah product backed up Singletary primarily, totaling 1,118 scrimmage yards over his first two seasons. But Singletary received most of the backfield work down the stretch last season for the pass-first squad. Cook’s arrival further reduced Moss’ role this season. He will attempt to rebound as a Taylor backup.
6 comments on “Colts To Trade RB Nyheim Hines To Bills”
Making a modest trade for a nice role player makes much more sense for them than it ever made to send huge draft capital for an expensive running back. Solid pickup.
For Zack Moss?
Some would say the Bills were saved by the bell.
Moss didn’t turn out to be what the envisioned him to be when they drafted him. He’s too much of a plodder. His running style doesn’t fit this offense. Having Hines and cook if just more ways to exploit mismatches. Great move.
This is a very good trade. Hines fills the same need that McKissic would have in Buffalo, and will help Allen on passing downs. He can do a lot of what McCaffery does, albeit at a lower level of course, and as such should take a little pressure off the passing game.
Buffalo could still use a consistent run game between the tackles, but Cook’s development may ease that need, especially with Hines as a safety outlet underneath. I think that Indianapolis will miss Hines more than Buffalo will miss Moss, after all is said and done.
Yeah, I agree with this assessment. Hines doesn’t do anything to help the actual run game, but then again, the Bills aren’t a running team and only seem to do it to keep defenses honest.