John Hughes has found a home. The Bills announced (via Twitter) that they have signed the veteran defensive tackle to a one-year deal.
The 30-year-old has managed to put together a six-year career despite serving as mostly a backup. The 2012 third-round pick spent the first four-plus seasons of his career with the Browns, including a rookie season where he collected three sacks. However, he was released by the organization in 2016, less than two years after inking a four-year, $14.4MM extension.
He split the rest of that campaign with the Patriots and Buccaneers before signing with the Saints last year. In eight games last season, the six-foot-two, 320-pound lineman compiled 10 tackles. He tore his bicep late in the season, landing him on the injured reserve.
Kyle Williams and Star Lotulelei are currently slotted in as the Bills starting defensive tackles, and Buffalo has some solid depth behind the two veterans. Hughes will likely have to compete with rookie third-rounder Harrison Phillips, former third-rounder Adolphus Washington, free agent addition Tenny Palepoi, and second-year lineman Rickey Hatley for backup reps.
Either way, it sounds like the Bills were in the market for more depth at the position. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the organization also considered free agent defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker. The 28-year-old was more production last season, finishing with 22 tackles, one sack, and four passes defended in 16 games (four starts) for the Rams. However, the organization ultimately decided on Hughes, who Rapoport describes as “more of a space eater.”
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