The Buffalo Bills will be playing their first regular-season game of the 2017 NFL season in exactly 90 days. What better day than today to start a running look at each of the 90 players on the team’s roster?
We begin with a look at a local kid who’s trying to work his way into a somewhat crowded field at the running back position.
Name: Jordan Johnson
Position: Running Back
Draft: UDFA (2017)
Financial Situation (per Spotrac): Johnson is on a standard three-year UDFA deal. He’s set to make $465k this season with $90k raises in each of the next two seasons. There is no dead cap hit if the Bills release him.
2016 Recap: The redshirt senior ran for 1,040 yards and six touchdowns for the Bulls, averaging 5.2 yards a carry. He also caught nine passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. Although UB finished with a 2-10 record, Johnson powered one of those wins with a team-record 282 rushing yards in a 41-20 victory over Akron.
Positional Outlook: The top two spots on the depth chart at running back seem to be settled with LeSean McCoy and Jonathan Williams. That means Johnson is going to be in a fight for a roster spot (or two) with free agent pickups Cedric O’Neal and Joe Banyard, as well as any other free agent running backs the Bills bring in between now and the start of the season. Fullbacks Patrick DiMarco and Mike Tolbert also figure to play into the need for bodies on the depth chart.
2017 Offseason: Johnson’s name didn’t creep up during OTAs very much, so he’ll have to put together a strong showing during the remaining workouts and training camp to have any shot at the 53.
Practice Squad Eligible?: Yes
2017 Season Outlook: Johnson is a long shot to make the opening day roster. The Bills aren’t going to keep five running backs on the 53, so the UDFA guy is always the likeliest candidate to miss the cut. Depending on how his summer goes, he’s probably a safe bet to make the practice squad in 2017.