As I’ve mentioned before in this series, there are a few positions on the Buffalo Bills where the depth chart is so weak that guys who probably wouldn’t see the light of day on most rosters might have a shot at significant playing time this year.
As I’ve also already mentioned, safety is one of those positions. There are a couple career special teamers who could see some time with the defense at safety this year, including today’s subject.
Name: Shamiel Gary
Height/Weight: 6’0”, 217 lbs.
College: Wyoming, Oklahoma State
Draft: UDFA (2014)
Financial Situation (per Spotrac): Gary is in year two of a three-year deal that will pay him $615,000 this year. There is no dead-cap hit if the Bills decide to release him.
2016 Recap: Gary bounced around quite a bit during the 2016 season. He was released by the Miami Dolphins, who he had been with for the previous season, and spent time on the practice squads of the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots before landing with the Bills in December. He was active for the final three games of the year and played exclusively on special teams, recording no stats.
Positional Outlook: Again, the depth chart is less than inspiring. Gary’s primary competition at the safety spot is a group that is largely in the same boat as he is, including the guy whose IR stint opened up the practice squad spot that the Bills used to sign Gary in the first place (Joe Powell). With five players competing for two or three roster spots, anybody could earn one with a strong summer.
2017 Offseason: Gary’s kept a low profile so far this offseason, so whatever chance he has of making the roster right now is squarely in the mind of Sean McDermott, Leslie Frazier, and Gill Byrd.
2017 Season Outlook: I can’t stress this enough: any of the safeties can earn a roster spot with a strong training camp and preseason. Gary has special teams experience, which is a leg up, but he’s not alone in that group. He’ll have to earn his job, but it should be easy, relatively speaking.