Bills Sign S Mike Edwards

After forming one of the longest-running safety tandems of the 21st century, the Bills changed course this month. They released Jordan Poyer and have not re-signed Micah Hyde. The team is moving in a younger direction at the position.

Hosting both Julian Blackmon and Mike Edwards this week, the Bills will commit to the latter. Edwards signed with Buffalo on Wednesday, the team announced. It is a one-year contract; the two-time Super Bowl winner is going into his age-28 season.

Edwards became a Chiefs starter following Bryan Cook‘s season-ending injury. This led to Edwards starting the Chiefs’ final five regular-season games and four playoff contests last year. A Buccaneers role player in their Super Bowl LV win over the Chiefs, Edwards played nearly all of Kansas City’s defensive snaps in its Super Bowl LVIII conquest. The Chiefs already have Justin Reid tied to a veteran contract. With Cook signed for two more seasons, Edwards will follow Juan Thornhill out of Missouri.

Kansas City turned to Edwards following Thornhill’s Cleveland defection, and Cook’s December injury made the move more important. Pro Football Focus did not grade Edwards well last season, slotting him 82nd among safeties, but he gave the Chiefs full-time work after Cook’s setback turned into a season-ender. The former third-round pick made seven tackles and broke up a pass against the 49ers last month.

For his career, Edwards has made 28 starts and snagged nine interceptions. That counts his pick of Tua Tagovailoa in the playoffs and his two-pick-six game against the Falcons in 2021. The Bills still have Damar Hamlin under contract for one more season, but the team did not use the recovered defender much on defense — undoubtedly leading to Joe Flacco‘s Comeback Player of the Year win — last season. This signing points to Edwards and Rapp becoming a lower-cost safety tandem following the standout run Hyde and Poyer put together. Though, an early- or mid-round draft choice would also make sense given what Buffalo lost here.

This will keep Blackmon on the market. A four-year Colts starter, Blackmon likely set a higher price compared to Edwards. Blackmon joins the likes of Justin Simmons, Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs and Eddie Jackson as safety starters still available.

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