Bills, Colts Interested In S Mike Edwards; S Julian Blackmon Visits Buffalo

Just ahead of free agency, the Bills disbanded one of the 21st century’s top safety duos by cutting Jordan Poyer. Micah Hyde remains unsigned, but after seven years of the Poyer-Hyde tandem, the Bills have shifted in a different direction.

With both players going into their age-33 season, it is understandable the Bills viewed another year with this successful duo as a bridge too far. The Dolphins have since added Poyer on a lower-cost contract. The Bills are still looking for answers to fill the veterans’ spots. Two options — on what quickly became a crowded safety market — have emerged.

The Bills scheduled meetings with Julian Blackmon and Mike Edwards, according to Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz and the Indianapolis Star’s Joel Erickson. Buffalo looks to have one box checked at the position, re-signing Taylor Rapp, but another starter-caliber solution will be necessary for the four-time reigning AFC East winners.

Colts GM Chris Ballard authorized third contracts for Kenny Moore and Grover Stewart this offseason, re-signing Tyquan Lewis and Taven Bryan as well. One of the few players from PFR’s top 50 free agents still available, Blackmon could still be in the team’s plans. But the former second-round pick is gauging his options on a market that became saturated with experienced safety starters.

In addition to Hyde, the Seahawks and Broncos made Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs and Justin Simmons available. The Saints cut Marcus Maye, while the Bears released Eddie Jackson. These players’ availability makes Blackmon, Edwards, Hyde and other UFAs’ quest to land notable contracts more difficult.

Blackmon is just 25, however, and should be a starter somewhere next season. Kamren Curl‘s underwhelming Rams contract did reveal a divide between what the Packers gave Xavier McKinney and the lower ceiling for the rest of the market this offseason. No other safety collected more than $7.5MM per year. It is safe to assume Blackmon, despite being a four-year Colts starter who played across the secondary in Gus Bradley‘s scheme, will land midlevel money at best — perhaps on a short-term deal as a way to improve his stock for another free agency run.

Edwards spent last season with the Chiefs, being thrust into a starting role following Bryan Cook‘s season-ending injury in early December. The former Buccaneers safety, who has now started in two Super Bowls, joined the Chiefs on a low-cost deal last year. He intercepted two passes — the second during Kansas City’s playoff run — and recovered two fumbles, returning one 97 yards during Week 18. Edwards, 27, played 97% of the Chiefs’ defensive snaps in Super Bowl LVIII.

The Colts also met with Edwards, ESPN’s Field Yates tweets. He would seem to profile as a lower-cost solution for Indianapolis, which has been busy retaining defenders this month. Blackmon departing would leave a hole at safety — on a defense already needing more help at outside corner.

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