Marcell Ateman‘s Thursday workout with the Bills will lead to a deal. The former Raiders wide receiver — and recent XFL pass catcher — agreed to terms with the Bills on Thursday.
The former NFL backup will join the Bills on a one-year deal. Both Ateman and wideout Preston Williams auditioned for the Bills today. Although Williams has been in the NFL since 2019, the Bills are going with Ateman, who last played in a regular-season game during the 2021 season and last caught a pass in 2019.
Ateman played for the St. Louis BattleHawks in the XFL this season. He will join spring teammates Hakeem Butler and Darrius Shepherd in securing an NFL opportunity. Butler signed with the Steelers last month; Shepherd caught on with the Chargers today. While Butler and Shepherd each finished in the top five in XFL receiving yards, Ateman totaled 259 and did not score a touchdown. The 6-foot-4 receiver caught 19 passes during his Missouri stay, though he did amass 99 yards (on 11 targets) during a game against the Seattle Sea Dragons.
In the NFL, Ateman has played only for the Raiders in the regular season. The Oklahoma State alum trekked to Oakland as a 2018 seventh-round pick. Between the 2018 and ’19 seasons, Ateman totaled 20 receptions for 270 yards and a touchdown. Ateman spent part of training camp with the Cardinals last year, but the Bills sending Cody Ford to Arizona via trade led to the receiver’s exit.
Ateman, 28, should not be considered a safe bet to stick with the Bills. Despite moving on from Isaiah McKenzie and Jamison Crowder this offseason, Buffalo added Deonte Harty, Trent Sherfield and fifth-round pick Justin Shorter. That trio joins Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis and second-year cog Khalil Shakir.