Bills Rumors

Latest On WR DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins‘ tenure in Arizona came to a sudden end yesterday when the Cardinals released the veteran wideout. Throughout the offseason, Hopkins was one of the most popular names on the trade market, and there were whispers that a number of teams had engaged the Cardinals in trade talks. However, Albert Breer of TheMMQB tweets that only the Bills and the Chiefs had “substantive” discussions with the Cardinals.

[RELATED: Cardinals Release DeAndre Hopkins]

Breer adds that both cash-strapped teams had issues fitting in Hopkins’ cap hit. While the Chiefs believed they were making progress towards a trade and a resolution on Hopkins’ 2023 earnings, Odell Beckham‘s contract with the Ravens “more or less blew that progress up.”

While the Chiefs and Bills would still be worthy suitors for Hopkins, that aforementioned OBJ deal may have already priced some teams out of the ensuing bidding war. Mike Giardi tweets that Hopkins “wants money,” and OBJ’s ability to earn more than $15MM with Baltimore hasn’t done anything to change his mind. Breer tweets that the Chiefs and Bills are probably unlikely to sign the veteran unless he drops his asking price, and even then Hopkins would have to settle of an incentive-laden deal.

Of course, money won’t be the only deciding factor when it comes to Hopkins’ landing spot. Cardinals reporter Mike Jurecki tweets that the wideout also values stable management, a good defense, and a quarterback who can galvanize the squad. Yesterday, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler released a list of best fits for Hopkins, with the Bills, Chiefs, Jets, Cowboys, and Saints all earning spots. The Browns, Giants, Falcons, and Patriots were listed as wild-card teams in the sweepstakes.

Either way, Hopkins won’t be able to officially sign a deal this weekend. Howard Balzer tweets that while the wideout is allowed to speak with teams, he can’t sign a contract until his name officially appears on the NFL’s personnel notice on Tuesday. Interestingly, Balzer also notes that when Hopkins hired new representation earlier this offseason, the NFLPA listed the agent as Eddie Edwards. Now, there’s no agent of record for the wideout. According to Mike Florio of, the confusion is attributed to the fact that Saint Omni is “running the show” for Hopkins. Last year, the NFL warned teams not to discuss contracts with non-certified agents like Omni during the Roquan Smith negotiations.

As for the Cardinals, there were some pundits who wondered why Hopkins wasn’t designated as a post-June 1 cut, which would have spread his $22MM cap hit over the next two seasons. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe assumes (on Twitter) that the Cardinals just want to “take their lumps now,” and the reporter notes that while Arizona technically used their two allocated post-June 1 cuts, the team could have still cut Hopkins after June 2 and realized the same financial incentives.

DeAndre Hopkins Rumors: Chiefs, Trade Talks, Patriots

The Chiefs were reportedly one of the most active teams looking into former Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins this year. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, Kansas City had received permission to talk with the now-free agent earlier in the offseason and spoke with him before the draft.

The biggest hurdle for the Chiefs, as it was for any team Arizona spoke to, was having to take on Hopkins’s existing contract. If a trade were going to take place, Kansas City wanted a much lower price, meaning the Cardinals would have to take on some of Hopkins’s contract in the trade.

The Chiefs were fairly big spenders this offseason after making big deals for tackle Jawaan Taylor and defensive end Charles Omenihu, resulting in the exhaustion of most of their salary cap. After their most recent $3MM deal for tackle Donovan Smith, the Chiefs are 31st in the league in available cap space, according to

While adding Hopkins is on anyone’s wish list, except perhaps Arizona’s, Kansas City also doesn’t seem desperate to add any more wide receivers. Despite losing JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman to free agency, the team has real confidence in Kadarius Toney‘s potential. They return Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore and drafted SMU wide receiver Rashee Rice in the second round to compete for snaps with the starters.

Here are a few more rumors surrounding the still young free agency of DHop:

  • The Chiefs were not the only team that the Cardinals struggled to find equal ground with on a trade. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, who spoke on the Pat McAfee Show, Arizona was working to trade the veteran wideout up until the day before the first round of the NFL draft. The Cardinals hit snags, though, as each discussion required handling of draft pick compensation and salary adjustments that would require Arizona to take on some of Hopkins’s salary. In the end, they opted to take the hit in the salary cap while ultimately saving cash.
  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler was one of the first to release a list of best fits for Hopkins in his newfound free agency. According to Fowler, the Bills, Chiefs, Jets, Cowboys, and Saints are the teams to watch out for in the initial race. A Stefon Diggs-Hopkins-Gabriel Davis trio could be just what’s needed to put the Bills in a Super Bowl, but the team only has around $2.4MM in cap space. The Jets are a bit better at $6.9MM of cap space (still far under the $19.45MM Hopkins was set to make in Arizona this year), but the team is working to create more cap room by restructuring large contracts like those of linebacker C.J. Mosley and wide receiver Corey Davis. They nearly had Odell Beckham Jr. before the Ravens swept in and nabbed him themselves. The Cowboys are set on defense and have some strong weapons on offense. Adding Hopkins to a receiving corps that contains CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks could be deadly, and they’ve got $9MM of cap space to work with. The Saints have missed having a star wideout as they’ve dealt with the durability issues of Michael Thomas. Hopkins would be a nice veteran mentor for youngsters Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed, and New Orleans has the most cap space of the above teams at $13.6MM. Fowler also lists the Browns, Giants, Falcons, and Patriots as wild-card teams to look out for.
  • Speaking of the Patriots, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports that, now that the contract isn’t nearly as much of a hurdle, New England is more likely to pursue Hopkins. Hopkins reportedly had a bit of a rocky relationship with Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien when the two were in Houston together, but adding Hopkins would immediately provide quarterback Mac Jones with a WR1. Hopkins would be teaming up with Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker, and last year’s second-round pick Tyquan Thornton to try and mount an upgraded New England passing attack.

Von Miller Addresses Return Timetable

Von Miller previously made it back from an ACL tear in time to start the following season, returning ahead of the 2014 slate despite suffering the injury in December 2013. Miller did not miss a game in 2014 and was available for every Broncos contest for the ensuing four years.

At 34, Miller is approaching his second such comeback differently. It does not sound like the Bills edge rusher is targeting Week 1 as a surefire comeback date from the ACL tear sustained on Thanksgiving. A return before the midseason point is squarely on the future Hall of Famer’s agenda, however.

No, I don’t,” Miller said (via the Buffalo News’ Mark Gaughan) when asked if he had a firm return timetable. “I did in 2013 when I tore my ACL I wanted to get back as fast as possible and play and show guys you don’t need to take nine months to recover from an ACL. But my goals are different now. I want to be here for my team when they need me the most.

I feel like late in the season when it really got tough, I wasn’t able to be there because I was injured. So the most important thing for me is to be available when my team really needs me. If that’s Week 1, then I’ll be happy for that. If it’s Week 6, I’ll happy for that. But I guarantee it won’t be any later than that.”

The 12-year veteran had kept the door open for a possible late-season return, as initial reports did not indicate an ACL tear. But doctors subsequently discovered a tear to lead to the shutdown. Miller missed the Bills’ final eight games.

The team’s caution with Tre’Davious White, who suffered a torn ACL on Thanksgiving 2021, would point to Miller missing the start of the season. While the two injuries are not equal, and full-year absences are not the norm for ACL recoveries. But the injuries occurring on Thanksgiving injects a rather key similarity. White did not come back to action until the Bills’ Thanksgiving game in Detroit. As such, Miller and White have barely shared the field thus far. Like the Bills missed White during their playoff shootout in Kansas City, their 2022 edition’s pass rush certainly lacked the punch it had when Miller was healthy.

Buffalo seems likely to place Miller on the active/PUP list when training camp starts. That camp-only designation will give the Bills flexibility, as they can either go game by game with Miller or stash their perennial Pro Bowl edge defender on the reserve/PUP list upon setting their roster. The latter course of action would sideline Miller for the season’s first four games — matchups against the Jets, Commanders, Raiders and Dolphins — while saving a roster spot.

Miller signed a six-year, $120MM Bills accord in March 2022, with the AFC East team outflanking the Rams and Cowboys for the former Super Bowl MVP’s services. Guarantees into Year 3 helped seal the deal. Miller produced early for his third NFL team, totaling eight sacks and 12 QB hits in 11 games. The Bills have re-signed a few defenders this offseason — Jordan Poyer, Jordan Phillips and Shaq Lawson among them — but did not make a major addition at defensive end. The team did not draft a D-lineman and will be counting on Miller to return to form.

AFC East Notes: Pats, Dolphins, Hamlin, Bills

The Patriots will join the list of teams to lose OTA days due to minor violations. The NFL docked the Pats two OTA sessions, Mike Reiss of tweets. New England did not practice Wednesday and will see another of its sessions nixed next week. The violation is believed to stem from the NFLPA expressing concern about the Pats’ meeting schedule. A 15-minute special teams meeting appearing on the team’s internal schedule was deemed mandatory in nature, and not voluntary, by the union, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. Bill Belichick incurred a $50K fine, Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal tweets, noting Joe Judge was involved in the violation as well (Twitter links). Pats players were aware they were being asked to stay longer than allowed, per veteran reporter Mike Giardi (on Twitter), with Reiss adding the team was fully cooperative with the NFL inquiry.

While on-field contact has triggered these penalties at various points in the recent past, the Pats’ violation is believed to pertain to only the meeting issue. This punishment certainly can be interpreted as steep for the reported infraction, though the NFLPA made reduced offseason work a key component during the 2011 and 2020 CBA talks.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • Austin Jackson is back at work for the Dolphins, per the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, participating in OTA sessions after undergoing reconstructive ankle surgery (Twitter link). Jackson did not undergo surgery upon initially injury his ankle — in Week 1 — as Miami’s starting right tackle attempted to return in Week 12. Jackson played 70 offensive snaps in that December game but did not suit up again last season. The Dolphins said before the draft they are planning to give Jackson another shot as their top right tackle, though they subsequently passed on his fifth-year option.
  • Miami did not draft a tackle, but the team did add ex-New England starter Isaiah Wynn. The former first-rounder is working at multiple positions during OTAs, Mike McDaniel said (via Jackson). League rules prohibit media from reporting which positions Wynn is playing, but the former Patriots left tackle did play guard for three seasons at Georgia. Wynn has spent most of his NFL time at left tackle and struggled on the right side following a 2022 position switch. The Dolphins have Terron Armstead locked in at left tackle, but the ex-Saints blocker has run into numerous injury issues during his career. He missed four games last season. Wynn’s Dolphins path could feature a starting right tackle role, a spot as the team’s swingman or potentially a guard gig. Left guard Liam Eichenberg has not solidified his position like right guard Robert Hunt has.
  • Damar Hamlin has made remarkable strides in his recovery and is fully expected to resume his career this season. But the Bills are playing it cautiously. Hamlin received full clearance to return and has worked out with teammates this offseason, but The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia notes the third-year safety is not yet participating in OTAs (Twitter link). Hamlin’s progress continues to be a situation to monitor in Buffalo, considering the historically rare circumstances he encountered after making a routine tackle in January.
  • A year after re-signing Matt Milano, the Bills let Tremaine Edmunds walk in free agency. The five-year starting linebacker signed a monster Bears contract and left a hole in the Bills’ lineup. Buffalo is likely to look in-house to replace Edmunds, with WGRZ’s Vic Carucci indicating Tyrel Dodson and 2022 third-round pick Terrel Bernard will compete for the middle ‘backer job. A former UDFA, Dodson made three starts last year. He played 220 defensive snaps. Starting one game as a rookie, Bernard played 110. The Bills also brought back veteran A.J. Klein, who has 82 starts on his resume (16 with Buffalo), in April.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/22/23

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

  • Signed: TE Joel Wilson

Detroit Lions

  • Signed: OT Max Pircher

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: RB Emanuel Wilson
  • Waived: K Parker White

Houston Texans

  • Released: DB Darius Joiner

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Max Pircher will be joining the Lions via the league’s International Pathways Program. The team originally signed Austalian tight end Patrick Murtagh, who had to back out of his deal due to a medical issue, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Pircher played football in Austria and participated on Italy’s National Team before a stint on the Rams’ practice squad in 2021.

Tae Crowder became a popular name after he compiled 130 tackles in 17 starts for the Giants in 2021. He found himself sliding down the depth chart in 2022 before ultimately getting waived. He landed back on New York’s practice squad before being signed by the Steelers, where he didn’t get into a game while sitting on their active roster.

Bills Re-Sign S Dean Marlowe

The Bills’ safety retention effort continues. Dean Marlowe, who returned to Buffalo via trade at last year’s deadline, agreed to terms to stay. He signed a one-year deal Monday, according to the team.

Marlowe came back to the Bills just more than a month after Micah Hyde‘s season-ending injury and became a starter following Damar Hamlin‘s terrifying January injury. The Bills are running it back with Hyde, the recently re-signed Jordan Poyer, Hamlin and Marlowe in 2023.

Initially signed during Brandon Beane‘s first free agency period as GM, in 2018, Marlowe spent three years in Buffalo. He left for a Detroit free agency deal in 2021 and signed with Atlanta last year. But the Falcons traded Marlowe back to the Bills on deadline day, when the AFC East champions also acquired Nyheim Hines.

Marlowe, 30, played one defensive snap during his first two months back in Buffalo. But the Bills needed him following Hamlin’s cardiac arrest scene. The Bills turned to Marlowe as a full-time starter against the Patriots in Week 18 and in both their playoff contests. Marlowe intercepted a pass in Buffalo’s narrow wild-card win over Miami.

The Bills have employed their Hyde-Poyer safety tandem for six seasons now, and Poyer’s two-year, $12.5MM deal will bring a seventh season of this pair working together. Marlowe served as a top backup for the Bills from 2018-20, starting seven games during that span. Hamlin’s progress will obviously be worth monitoring as the season approaches, but the inspirational defender has received full clearance. If Hamlin indeed returns to game action as expected, he is expected to be the Bills’ top safety reserve — as he was last season. Marlowe, however, provides additional depth for an injury-plagued unit and a seasoned special teams presence. Marlowe saw action on 75% of the Falcons’ ST snaps before being traded.

Although the Bills let Tremaine Edmunds walk in free agency — via a Bears pact for top-five off-ball linebacker money — they have brought back several pieces on defense this offseason. Poyer, Marlowe, Jordan Phillips and Shaq Lawson signed deals to stay in Western New York. The Bills ranked second in points allowed last season.

AFC Notes: Raiders, Bills, Titans, Steelers

Last year, the Raiders offensive line was viewed as a major weakness, forcing Las Vegas to shuffle the depth chart until they found a workable solution. Oddly enough, though, by the end of the season, the team found a reliable starting five and some dependable reserves that didn’t blow anybody away but routinely got the job done. With the position no longer a weakness, Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal posits that the Raiders may not have much urgency in addressing the position before next season.

Returning a likely starting five of Kolton Miller at left tackle, Dylan Parham at left guard, Andre James at center, Alex Bars at right guard, and Jermaine Eluemunor at right tackle, the Raiders don’t necessarily have any holes in the offensive line. Bonsignore asserts that the team still may look for potential upgrades from younger reserve linemen pushing for playing time or potential outside additions, if they present themselves, but right now, the team’s roster may be set after the recent additions of free agent Greg Van Roten and undrafted rookies McClendon Curtis and Dalton Wagner.

Here are a few other rumors from around the AFC:

  • The Bills made a number of moves within their scouting department this offseason. Formerly the team’s pro personnel director, Malik Boyd has been named senior personnel advisor in Buffalo. The former Vikings defensive back and veteran scout with personnel experience for the Colts and Cardinals will work as an executive scout in both pro and college mediums. Additionally, Chris Marrow and Curtis Rukavina have both been named co-directors of pro scouting. The two remain entwined after joining the team as pro scouts in 2017 and both working as assistant directors of pro scouting until their recent promotions.
  • With a new general manager in Ran Carthon, the Titans, too, have begun to make some front office adjustments, according to Neil Stratton of Max Curtis has been named as the team’s new player personnel coordinator, being from promoted from dual roles last year as coordinator of football administration and executive assistant to the executive vice president and general manager. Bryce Wasserman will now be the Titans’ director of team strategy after serving last year as staff counsel. Lastly, a football development coordinator last year, John Streicher will now be in the role of director of football administration.
  • Finally, the Steelers have poached a scout from the in-state Eagles, according to Colin Dunlap of 93.7 The Fan, Pittsburgh. After five years as an area scout for Philadelphia, Jim Ward will cross the state to serve a similar role in Pittsburgh.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/14/23

Today’s minor moves to wrap up the weekend:

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

  • Signed: CB LJ Davis

Ray is making a long-awaited return to the NFL. When he finished out his rookie contract with the Broncos after the 2018 season and failed to make the Ravens roster for the next year, Ray was away from professional football for about a year and a half. After a long hiatus, he signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. The Bills will give Ray a chance to return to the NFL, reuniting him with Von Miller from their days in Denver.

Ray saw early success in Denver, racking up 12.0 sacks in his first two years. But after earning a starting job in 2017, Ray suffered a season-ending wrist injury after only eight games. In 2018, another wrist surgery would force him to miss five more games. His injury problems did not leave him in Canada, as a torn bicep would force him to miss the Argonauts’ Grey Cup victory. He’ll hope to stay healthy in his NFL return.

Bills Wrap Up Draft Class Signings, Ink TE Dalton Kincaid

The Bills today became the fourth team to wrap up their draft pick signings. The first tight end taken in the 2023 NFL Draft, Utah’s Dalton Kincaid has officially signed his four-year rookie contract, with a fifth-year option, becoming the last of the Bills’ rookies to sign. He also becomes the latest in the recent run of first-rounders to ink their deals.

Many had pegged the Bills as candidates to vie for a first-round receiver, but they opted for the draft’s best receiving tight end instead. Some posited that Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer was the position’s best prospect due to some injury history with Kincaid, but Kincaid may have jumped back up draft boards after being medically cleared in the days leading up to the draft.

Buffalo clearly had their eye on Kincaid as the draft progressed. General manager Brandon Beane and company got a little antsy as their time drew near and feared that the Cowboys might have their eyes on the Utah tight end. They resolved to ensure they got their guy by trading up in the first round for Kincaid.

Kincaid’s skillset should mashup well with returning Bills tight end Dawson Knox. Knox doesn’t blow away with his receiving ability but is a strong asset in the redzone and a good blocker, as well. Kincaid should be able to add a bit more receiving yards across the middle and has the ability to stretch the field on linebackers and safeties. Here is the entire 2023 draft class for Buffalo:

Round 1, No. 25 (from Giants through Jaguars): Dalton Kincaid, TE (Utah) (signed)
Round 2, No. 59: O’Cyrus Torrence, G (Florida) (signed)
Round 3, No, 91: Dorian Williams, LB (Tulane) (signed)
Round 5, No. 150 (from Commanders): Justin Shorter, WR (Florida) (signed)
Round 7, No. 230 (from Buccaneers through Jets, Texans, Eagles and Bills): Nick Broeker, G (Ole Miss) (signed)
Round 7, No. 252 (from Buccaneers through Rams): Alex Austin, CB (Oregon State) (signed)

Bills Sign 7-Man UDFA Class

With rookie minicamps underway, the remainder of the undrafted free agent classes are finding their way to the surface. Here is Buffalo’s seven-man class:

After drafting Florida’s Justin Shorter in the fifth round, the Bills stacked the wide receiver room with undrafted talent. All four bring an interesting element to a receiving corps led by Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis. Johnson is a smaller deep ball threat with return abilities. Shavers not only has elite size at 6-foot-6, 210 pounds, he also can contribute on special teams, as evidenced by the three blocked punt returns for touchdowns in his college career. Wayne was super productive in Mobile catching 111 passes for 1,446 yards and 11 touchdowns in his final two seasons at South Alabama.

Mims was also ultra productive in college. As a first-team All-Mountain West running back for Fresno State, the stout back had 1,372 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground as a fifth-year senior. Mims joins a crowded room that has some young talent and some veteran leadership but no bell-cow.

Dale didn’t light up the stat sheet as a defensive tackle, but he started 12 games as a senior for the Crimson Tide and had 5.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss over his career in Tuscaloosa. He’ll have to shine in order to break through a rotation that could include Ed Oliver, DaQuan Jones, Jordan Phillips, Tim Settle, Poona Ford, and Eli Ankou.

Gouraige joins his line-mate, Bills second-round guard O’Cyrus Torrence, and Shorter as the third rookie Gator at mini-camp. Gouraige started his last two seasons as Florida’s blindside tackle. He brings an impressive athleticism having played both offensive and defensive line, as well as basketball, in high school.