DaQuan Jones

DaQuan Jones To Re-Sign With Bills

Up late determining his 2024 employment plan, DaQuan Jones does not intend to leave Buffalo. The veteran defensive tackle will recommit to the Bills on a two-year deal, according to his agency (Instagram link).

The Bills will give the 11th-year D-lineman a $10.5MM guaranteed on a contract that includes $16MM in total. Jones returned from a torn pectoral muscle late in the season and was off to a strong start before the October injury threw his second Buffalo slate off track.

A quality run-stuffing DT, Jones will receive almost the same amount of guarantees the Bills provided back in 2022. They gave the former Titans starter $10.6MM guaranteed two years ago. Despite Jones now set for his age-32 season, Buffalo saw enough over his two-year stay to reinvest.

Prior to going down in Week 5 — a rather disastrous outing for the Bills, who lost Matt Milano for the season in London as well — Jones rated third among DTs, per Pro Football Focus. He landed 20th among DTs in 2022. Despite suffering a torn pec, the 320-pound defender made it back in time for the team’s Week 17 game and then the playoffs. That may have gone a ways within the organization, though the Bills came into free agency with next to nothing in place at D-tackle.

Jones, who started 16 games for the Bills in 2022, has lined up as a first-stringer — in Tennessee, Carolina and Buffalo — 133 times. The Bills have at least one non-Ed Oliver answer at DT now; they need more. Tim Settle, Jordan Phillips and Poona Ford are unsigned for the 2024 season. Despite the Bills saying goodbye to longtime starters Jordan Poyer, Tre’Davious White and Mitch Morse, they will be keeping a 30-something regular in the fold.

Bills GM: “I Don’t Think You’re Going To See Any Splashes” In Free Agency; Latest On Team’s Top FAs

Bills GM Brandon Beane, echoing the remarks he made in the 2023 offseason, said that his club is unlikely to hand out any especially lucrative contracts in free agency this year. As Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic (subscription required) observes, Buffalo is projected to be roughly $49MM over the 2024 salary cap, which obviously puts a damper on the team’s spending ability.

“I don’t think you’re going to see any splashes,” Beane said. “Even if I found something that was exciting to me, I don’t think it would fit within our cap parameters. I think everyone needs to understand that we’re going to be shopping at some of those same stores we were shopping last year. We’re not going to be on Main Street of New York City or whatever all those high-end shopping centers are. It’s not feasible to where we’re at.”

In Buscaglia’s view, the only surefire way to alleviate the Bills’ cap problems would be to undergo a full roster overhaul as they did in 2017 — the year before quarterback Josh Allen was drafted — and 2018. However, with a star QB like Allen in place, the team is not going to punt on a season just to get right with the salary cap, as Buscaglia opines.

As a result, Buffalo will not be able to swim in the deep end of the free agency pool, and the team may also be forced to part with some of its own top free agents. Indeed, Buscaglia expects most of Buffalo’s high-profile FAs to at least test the open market.

That list includes wide receiver Gabe Davis, who emerged as a key big-play threat for Allen after being selected by the Bills in the fourth round of the 2020 draft. Over his four-year tenure in western New York, Davis posted 27 touchdowns and a 16.7 yards-per-reception rate (though that comes with a modest 54.5% catch percentage, which is typical for a home run hitter). Unfortunately, Davis was forced to sit out the Bills’ two playoff contests at the end of the 2023 campaign due to a PCL injury sustained in the regular season finale against the Dolphins, and even before that happened, 2022 fifth-rounder Khalil Shakir had shown an ability to serve as a capable, cost-controlled complement to Stefon Diggs.

Davis, who will turn 25 in April, confirmed that he plans to test free agency next month (via ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg). He suggested that he would be receptive to a new deal with the Bills, but he said that there were no extension talks between him and the club last season.

Notably, while Davis’ injury was originally classified as a PCL sprain, Ryan O’Halloran of the Buffalo News says that the UCF product actually suffered a torn PCL. There is presently no indication as to whether that ailment will impact Davis’ free agent prospects.

Defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, meanwhile, is one of a number of Bills defensive linemen who are out of contract, and like Davis, he said he has not had any talks with the club about a new deal (as relayed by Buscaglia). Jones signed a two-year, $14MM contract with Buffalo in March 2022, and after playing 16 regular season contests in his first year with the team, he was limited to seven games in 2023 thanks to the pectoral injury he sustained in Week 5. The 32-year-old veteran, who has been a consistently strong and mostly durable starter throughout his career, returned to play the final two games of the regular season and both of Buffalo’s postseason matchups, and he said he is looking forward to his return to the open market.

Jones’ fellow DT Jordan Phillips, on the other hand, is considering retirement, per O’Halloran. Phillips, who stepped into the starting lineup following Jones’ injury, suffered a dislocated wrist in a Week 15 win over the Cowboys and ended the season on IR as a result. Now 31, Phillips enjoyed his finest season as a member of the Bills in 2017, posting 9.5 sacks over 16 games (nine starts). He parlayed that performance into a lucrative three-year contract with the Cardinals the following offseason, but his time in the desert was marred by injury, and he was released in March 2022. He has spent the last two seasons back in Buffalo, but he conceded that “this might be it” for his playing career.

Safety Micah Hyde may also hang up the cleats, as Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News reports. Hyde, a Packers draftee who began a long and productive stint as a member of the Bills in 2017, played in 14 games in 2023 after being limited to just two contests the year before as a result of a neck injury. In the view of Pro Football Focus, he was not quite as sharp as he had been throughout most of his time in Buffalo, though he was still an above-average defender.

Hyde, 33, said he had no issues with his surgically-repaired neck over the first half of the 2023 season, but he sustained a stinger in Week 9 and another in Week 14, and he conceded that it was a difficult year for him physically. Although he has medical clearance to play, he has not yet decided if he wants to do so.

The Bills also have several key edge rushers on expiring contracts: Leonard Floyd and A.J. Epenesa. Floyd, who signed a one-year contract with the team in June, posted 10.5 sacks in his first Buffalo season, the fourth consecutive year in which he has recorded at least nine sacks. As he prepares for his age-32 campaign, Floyd acknowledged that he will follow the money in free agency, though he still wants to sign with a contender.

Of all of the soon-to-be FAs mentioned above, it could be that Epenesa has the best chance to return to the Bills. The 2020 second-rounder has posted 6.5 sacks in back-to-back seasons, and as ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler writes in a subscribers-only piece, Buffalo — in keeping with its usual desire to retain homegrown talent — may talk extension with Epenesa before free agency opens.

Bills To Activate DT DaQuan Jones From IR

DECEMBER 29: Jones is ready to return from the pectoral tear that altered his season. The contract-year D-tackle will be back against the Patriots, with KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson noting the Bills are using an IR activation. The Lions have ruled out Gardner-Johnson for their Week 17 game, and it is not yet known if the Eagles will activate Avonte Maddox. Despite suffering his pec tear three weeks after the both DBs did, Jones will be in uniform as the Bills continue their late-season push toward a playoff berth.

The Bills have now used two of their IR activations this week. Jones’ return to Buffalo’s 53-man roster follows the team’s activation of cornerback Kaiir Elam. The team has four IR-return moves remaining. McDermott reiterated Milano, even if the Bills make the playoffs, would not be expected to join Jones and Elam in being activated from IR, ESPN.com’s Alaina Getzenberg tweets.

DECEMBER 19: Days after Sean McDermott mentioned DaQuan Jones — on the shelf since early October after a pectoral injury — could come back, the Bills are putting the wheels in motion here. The veteran defensive tackle returned to practice Tuesday.

This will start Jones’ 21-day activation clock, representing a surprising development after the 10th-year defensive tackle suffered a torn pectoral muscle. While players returning in-season from pectoral surgery is rare, two are on track to do so. The Lions are on the verge of opening C.J. Gardner-Johnson‘s IR-return window. Both teams stand to benefit from the returns of starting defenders before the playoffs.

Both Jones and Matt Milano went down during the Bills’ loss to the Jaguars in London in Week 5. Those setbacks came a week after Buffalo once again lost Tre’Davious White to a season-ending injury. Milano is not expected to come back, McDermott added (via The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia) Tuesday. The All-Pro linebacker suffered a serious leg injury. But Jones being near a return stands to boost Buffalo’s run defense.

Prior to Jones going down, he was off to a strong start in a contract year. Pro Football Focus had slotted Jones third among interior D-linemen through five games; the former Titans draftee had started all 21 games since his two-year, $14MM Bills deal came to pass in 2022. Over his career, the soon-to-be 32-year-old defender has started 93 games — for the Titans, Panthers and Bills.

The Bills will be in need at defensive tackle going forward as well. Jordan Phillips suffered a dislocated wrist against the Cowboys and has already undergone surgery, per the Buffalo News’ Ryan O’Halloran. Summoned to replace Jones in Buffalo’s starting lineup, Phillips is hoping to be ready to return if the Bills make the playoffs. The team beating the Chiefs and Cowboys in consecutive weeks paves a clear path to the postseason, and both Phillips and Jones being in uniform would round out a veteran-fueled contingent alongside the recently extended Ed Oliver.

Buffalo re-signed Phillips to pair with Oliver, Jones and Tim Settle inside. The Bills also added Poona Ford at the position, but the ex-Seahawk has only played 95 defensive snaps this season. PFF has rated Settle much higher than Phillips, a veteran that checks in as the advanced metrics site’s second-worst regular interior D-lineman. Phillips has registered 2.5 sacks, two tackles for loss and five pass batdowns this season, a nine-start campaign for the ninth-year veteran. The Bills may not be able to reform their Oliver-Jones starting DT tandem immediately, but with games against the Chargers and Patriots on tap, the team does not look to have a difficult matchup on its docket again until a Week 18 Dolphins tilt that could decide the AFC East.

DaQuan Jones In Play To Return This Season

The Bills have been playing without three cornerstone defenders for several weeks. Tre’Davious White is out for the season, and no indications have emerged regarding a Matt Milano return. But the other key starter the Bills lost in October does have a path back to the active roster.

Sean McDermott said Monday (via the Buffalo News’ Jay Skurski) DaQuan Jones has a chance to come back from the pectoral injury he suffered in London. Jones is not on track to be designated for return this week, but the Bills have the door open for the defensive tackle starter to return before season’s end.

Buffalo saw both Milano and Jones go down during its loss to Jacksonville in London. Those setbacks came a week after White’s Achilles tear, decimating the Bills’ defense. That has led the team toward the “In the Hunt” sector of playoff graphics, rather than its usual perch atop the AFC East. But the Bills have reestablished some momentum, beating the Chiefs in Kansas City for a third straight season. With the team’s playoff chances still live, a Jones return would make sense — should the veteran interior defender prove able — down the stretch.

When Jones went down, he was reported to have sustained a pectoral tear that required surgery. That injury regularly shuts down players for seasons’ remainders. It is possible Jones did not sustain a full tear; that would explain this somewhat surprising window to come back. Pro Football Focus had slotted Jones third among interior D-linemen through five games; the former Titans draftee had started all 21 games since his two-year, $14MM Bills deal came to pass in 2022.

Despite a plus-104 point differential, the Bills sit 7-6. Games against the Cowboys and Dolphins remain for the three-time reigning AFC East champions. The team’s impressive differential aside, it ranks 19th against the run. Jones making an unexpected comeback would certainly help the cause on this front.

While Jones has a chance to return to practice in the not-too-distant future, Micah Hyde will likely miss some upcoming workouts. McDermott called the veteran safety week to week with the stinger he suffered in Week 14. Hyde made a return from a neck injury this year; the 11th-year defender missed 15 games last season due to that malady. The Bills have better safety insurance this year, having signed Taylor Rapp. Following an inspirational return, Damar Hamlin has not seen much playing time this year. But the 2022 fill-in starter serves as depth as well.

Bills Place LB Matt Milano, DT DaQuan Jones On IR; Sign LB A.J. Klein From PS

The Bills did some housekeeping today, clearing out some roster spots as a result of recent injuries and preparing to refill them. Losing two defensive starters in London was tough, but Buffalo has no choice but to reset and reload from their existing stock of talent.

After a potentially season-ending injury to veteran linebacker Matt Milano and a pectoral injury to defensive tackle DaQuan Jones that likewise doesn’t look promising, the Bills have placed both players on injured reserve. This now opens up two new spots on the active roster for the staff to fill. To fill Milano’s roster spot, Buffalo is calling up practice squad linebacker A.J. Klein. The veteran, who has become a mainstay in Buffalo over the past few years, will be signed to the active roster.

Klein started 11 games for the Bills during his first year with the team back in 2020 before taking a bit of a smaller role the following season. Buffalo released him two years into his three-year deal. Klein signed to the Giants’ practice squad before getting signed off of it three days later to the Ravens’ active roster. Three weeks later, he was shipped to Chicago with a second- and fifth-round pick in exchange for Roquan Smith. He lasted a couple weeks in Chicago before getting waived and picked up by the Bills, who have kept him close ever since.

Buffalo didn’t immediately fill the second roster spot opened by the two IR moves, but they did set a plan in motion for it. Today, the team designated linebacker Baylon Spector to return from IR. After only appearing in six games as a rookie last year, Spector has spent the first five weeks of the season on IR with a hamstring injury. With Spector returning to practice, he’ll enter the 21-day window in which he can return to the active roster.

While Spector doesn’t replace the position slot of Jones, the Bills did add a defensive tackle to the practice squad. Already a bit of a journeyman in his sixth NFL season, new defensive tackle Andrew Brown will be joining his seventh team since getting drafted in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He only has one start in his career and hasn’t appeared in more than five games for a team in a season since his rookie year in Cincinnati.

Bills Fear Season-Ending Knee Injury For LB Matt Milano

OCTOBER 9: The standout linebacker will require surgery, Sean McDermott said Monday. While the seventh-year HC did not confirm Milano is done for the season, that is the expectation at this point. The Bills have lost three defensive starters — Milano, Jones and White — to major injuries in a seven-day span.

OCTOBER 8: The Bills suffered a loss to the Jaguars in Week 5, but the team was dealt a more significant blow in the process. Linebacker Matt Milano is feared to have suffered a season-ending knee injury, per Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.

Milano was carted off the field in the first quarter, and Rapoport notes he has since been diagnosed with a fractured leg. Further tests are set to be conducted to see if an ACL tear has occurred as well, and confirmation on that front would confirm he will miss the remainder of the year. The Bills’ defense has already lost top corner Tre’Davious White to a torn Achilles, and being without Milano would add substantially to the unit’s injury woes.

The latter has been in Buffalo since 2017, serving as a full-time starter for most of that time. Milano has eclipsed 100 tackles only once in his career, but his versatility has made him one of the league’s most valued linebackers in the passing game in particular. The former fifth-rounder has 10 interceptions and 39 pass breakups to his name, and he has chipped in as a complimentary pass rusher as well.

The Bills lost fellow linebacker Tremaine Edmunds in free agency, creating a notable vacancy in the middle of their defense. An open training camp competition produced Terrel Bernard as the Edmunds replacement, but his ascension to a starting role came with the presumption of being insulated by the veteran presence and consistent production of Milano. Losing the latter for an extended stretch would tax Buffalo’s second level considerably given their lack of proven players at the outside linebacker spot.

Milano signed a two-year extension this offseason in a move which freed up cap space in the immediate future while keeping him on the books through 2026. He will remain an integral (and, at an AAV of $14.17MM, expensive) member of the Bills’ defense moving forward, but his ability to return to form when healthy – something which seems destined to take place no earlier than the beginning of the 2024 campaign – will be worth watching.

Head coach Sean McDermott said after the game that defensive lineman DaQuan Jones suffered a pectoral injury, adding that his prognosis “doesn’t look good.” Jones has been a full-time starter in his two Bills campaigns, providing an interior pass rush. The 31-year-old recorded a pair of sacks last season, upping that total to 2.5 through the first four games of the 2023 slate. As is the case with Milano, however, it remains to be seen if he will be able to suit up again before next year.

Bills DT DaQuan Jones Suffers Torn Pec

The Bills’ loss in London ended with significant defensive setbacks. After losing Tre’Davious White to a torn Achilles, the Bills will likely be down Matt Milano and DaQuan Jones for the season as well.

Jones will see his second Bills season stall because of a torn pectoral muscle, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports. The veteran defensive tackle will need surgery, per Sean McDermott, and this development is expected to lead to a rehab timetable that extends into the 2024 offseason. This will be new territory for Jones, who played in at least 16 games in seven of the past eight seasons.

In the second season of a two-year, $14MM deal, Jones had operated as a Bills starter throughout his tenure. The 10th-year D-lineman had been enjoying a quality start; Pro Football Focus ranks Jones third overall among interior defenders. Coupled with the White injury, the Bills are set to lose key starters on all three levels in the span of two weeks.

Milano, who sustained a serious knee injury Sunday, signed a second Bills extension this offseason. Unfortunately for Jones, he is in a contract year. A seven-year Titans mainstay, Jones has been one of the more unheralded parts of the Bills’ stout defense over the past two seasons. After a one-year stopover in Carolina, Jones has excelled in Buffalo. PFF slotted Jones as a top-20 interior D-lineman last season, when he finished with a career-high 11 quarterback hits.

Veterans flood the Bills’ D-tackle group, but Jones has started every game he has played in with the team. The Bills will need to lean on their other experienced players inside going forward. Buffalo handed Ed Oliver a $17MM-per-year extension this offseason and still rosters 2022 free agency pickup Tim Settle. Jordan Phillips, who is in his second stint with the franchise, looms as a key depth piece as well.

Settle and Phillips have seen roughly equal workloads this season. Settle has logged 105 defensive snaps, while Phillips has been on the field for 113. The team also signed Poona Ford this offseason, but the ex-Seahawk has only been out there on 23 defensive plays. In light of the Jones injury, that number figures to go up. The Bills are interestingly well-positioned to handle a DT injury, seeing as four vested veterans are part of this mix even without Jones. But this will be a blow to a team also set to be without White and Milano.

Contract Details: Seals-Jones, Williams, Tomlinson, Jones, Montgomery, Gardeck, Singleton, Carter

Here are the latest details from contracts recently agreed to across the league:

  • Ricky Seals-Jones, TE (Giants): One-year, $1.19MM. The deal, tweeted out by Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, has a $352,500 amount guaranteed at signing. The guaranteed amount includes a signing bonus of $152,500 and $200,000 of his salary worth $1.04MM.
  • Maxx Williams, TE (Cardinals): One-year, $1.27MM. The deal has a salary of $1.12MM, according to Wilson. Regardless of whether or not he is active, he’ll receive a $15,000 bonus for any game for which he is on the roster. If he is active for any game, he’ll receive an additional $52,500 roster bonus. He’ll also receive a per game active bonus of $5,000 for a potential season total of $85,000.
  • Eric Tomlinson, TE (Broncos): One-year, $1.44MM. The deal has an amount of $1MM guaranteed at signing, according to Wilson. The guaranteed amount includes a $400,000 signing bonus and $600,000 of his salary worth $1.04MM.
  • DaQuan Jones, DT (Bills): Two-year, $14MM. The deal has an amount of $10.63MM guaranteed at signing, according to Wilson. The guaranteed amount consists of a $5.5MM signing bonus, the full first-year salary of $1.75MM, and $3.38MM of the second-year salary, which is set at $6.75MM. The contract includes a voidable year for 2024 that voids automatically 23 days before the 2024 league year begins.
  • Ty Montgomery, RB (Patriots): Two-year, $3.6MM. The deal has an average annual salary of $1.8MM with an amount of $300,000 guaranteed consisting entirely of the dual-position player’s signing bonus, according to Wilson. Included in that AAV of $1.8MM are a first-year salary of $1.16MM, a second-year salary of $1.36MM, roster bonuses of $280,000 in year one and $340,000 in year two, and workout bonuses of $50,000 in each year. The former wide receiver will earn a per game active bonus of $20,000 for a potential season total of $340,000. The deal holds an annual playtime incentive of up to $300,000. The deal also holds a potential out after the 2022 NFL season that would leave a dead cap number of $150,000.
  • Dennis Gardeck, LB (Cardinals): Three-year, $10MM. The deal has a guaranteed amount of $3.75MM, according to Wilson. $3.25MM of that amount is guaranteed at signing with a $2MM signing bonus and the first-year salary of $1.25MM being fully guaranteed. $500,000 of the second-year salary, worth $3.27MM, guarantees on the fifth league day of the 2023 season (injury guaranteed at signing). The third-year salary is worth $2.46MM. Gardeck will also receive a per game active bonus of $20,000 for a potential season total of $340,000. The deal includes an annual playtime incentive of $250,000 and an escalator based on sack total that can be worth up to $625,000. A potential out after the 2022 season would leave a dead cap number of $1.33MM.
  • Alex Singleton, LB (Broncos): One-year, $1.12MM. The deal has a salary of $965,000 with a guaranteed amount of $150,000 fully consisting of Singleton’s signing bonus, according to Mike Klis of 9News. Singleton will have a playtime incentive based on snap-percentage. At the end of the year, if he has played 65% of the team’s defensive snaps, he’ll receive $250,000, $500,000 if he plays 70%, and $750,000 if he plays 75%.
  • Lorenzo Carter, OLB (Falcons): One-year, $3.5MM. The deal has a salary of $1.5MM with a guaranteed amount of $2MM fully consisting of Carter’s signing bonus, according to Michael Rothstein of ESPN. The deal includes a 2023 dummy year that will be voided 23 days before the 2023 league year. It will leave the Falcons with a dead cap number of $1M for Carter.

Bills To Sign DL DaQuan Jones

DaQuan Jones is heading to the AFC. The former Panthers defensive tackle is signing with the Bills, reports ESPN’s Dianna Russini (via Twitter).

After spending seven seasons with the Titans, Jones joined the Panthers on a one-year deal last offseason. He ended up starting all 17 games for his new squad, compiling 38 tackles, one sack, and six QB hits.

During his stint in Tennessee, Jones started 93 of his 99 appearances, collecting 273 tackles and 10 sacks. He also saw time in four playoff games, collecting another nine tackles and 1.5 sacks.

The Bills have also been busy adding to their defensive line today, as they signed Tim Settle to help stabilize their defensive line.

Panthers, DT DaQuan Jones Agree To Deal

The Panthers are bringing in a longtime defensive line starter. They agreed to terms with DaQuan Jones on a one-year deal Tuesday, per Joe Person of The Athletic (subscription required). The team announced the deal, which Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes is worth $4.05MM (Twitter link).

A six-year Titans starter, Jones visited the Panthers on Tuesday, Rapoport tweets. Jones’ most recent Tennessee contract expired, sending him to free agency. The Panthers marked his first offseason connection, and the seven-year veteran should be expected to play a key role with his new team.

Jones has logged 16-start seasons in five of the past six years, moving into the Titans’ lineup in 2015 and only missing time (four games) in 2017 since. Although the Titans cratered in almost every defensive aspect last season, Jones graded as a middle-of-the-pack defensive tackle — in the view of Pro Football Focus — in 2020. The former fourth-round pick registered career-high marks in tackles (49) and quarterback hits (six) last season. Jones graded as a top-30 interior defender in 2019, excelling against the run to help propel the Titans to their first AFC championship game in 17 seasons.

The 29-year-old lineman played in a 3-4 defense throughout his career but now figures to slot alongside 2020 first-round pick Derrick Brown in Carolina’s 4-3 look. The Panthers cut longtime starter Kawann Short and lost key contributor Zach Kerr in free agency. Kerr signed with the 49ers last month; Short remains a free agent.