Bills To Add RB Damien Harris

MARCH 27: Buffalo has managed to add Harris at just $1.7MM, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 tweets. Harris will receive $1MM fully guaranteed, per OverTheCap. This deal checks in at slightly less than what Singletary received from the Texans and further illustrates the grim market that awaited most of this year’s running backs.

MARCH 20: Brandon Beane said another running back would be on the Bills’ radar. Shortly after starter Devin Singletary joined the Texans, the Bills are making their addition.

Former Patriots starter Damien Harris will sign a one-year deal with the Bills, Adam Schefter of tweets. The former third-round pick played out his New England rookie contract in 2022.

Although Harris did not hit free agency with much momentum, the Bills observed his better work up close in 2021. Harris totaled 15 rushing touchdowns during his third season, when he rushed for 929 yards at 4.6 a clip. The Alabama product will join James Cook and Nyheim Hines in Buffalo’s backfield, which has gone through some changes since the team rolled out a Singletary-Zack Moss duo for two-plus seasons.

Beane said a bigger back to complement Cook would be the likely move, and while Harris (213 pounds) should not be confused size-wise with Derrick Henry, the Patriots used him as a between-the-tackles runner during his two seasons as their primary starter (2020-21). Harris finished with five 100-yard rushing games during his 15-start 2021 season. The most memorable one probably came in Buffalo, when Bill Belichick pulled passes out of his game plan on a windy night. Harris amassed 111 rushing yards on just 10 carries during the Pats’ upset win in Buffalo, and he topped the century mark against the Bills two weeks later — in a loss in Foxborough — as well.

Last season, Harris dealt with hamstring and thigh injuries that cost him six games. He did not play the same role as he had in 2021, however, as Rhamondre Stevenson began to take over as New England’s primary back. The Pats still have Stevenson on his rookie contract through 2024, and they added ex-Jaguars 1,000-yard rusher James Robinson last week. The Robinson addition pointed Harris out of town, and he should have an opportunity to be a regular part of Buffalo’s offense in 2023.

The Bills used Singletary as their primary back for most of his four-year stay. Cook showed flashes late last season and will likely play a bigger part in Buffalo’s run game next season, but Harris should be expected to be part of the equation.

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