Cornerback depth was a big issue for the Buffalo Bills last year, something that was not helped in the slightest by Rex Ryan’s love for leaving corners to fend for themselves during frequent blitzes. The departure of Stephon Gilmore in free agency only serves to bring more awareness to the depth behind Ronald Darby and first-round pick Tre’Davious White.
To that end, Sean McDermott and Co. have brought in several free agents to challenge for the final few spots on the depth chart. Here’s a look at a veteran who can also pitch in on special teams.
Name: Charles James II
Height/Weight: 5’9”, 186 lbs.
College: Charleston Southern
Draft: UDFA (2013)
Financial Situation (per Spotrac): The Bills inherited James’ two-year deal when they claimed him off waivers from the Indianapolis Colts. He’ll be paid $690,000 this season, the final year of the deal, and there is no guaranteed money.
2016 Recap: James spent most of 2016 with the Houston Texans, joining the Colts late in the season for one game. He saw a decent amount of playing time with the defense while serving as part of the core special teams group. In all, he had 14 tackles and one pass breakup last year.
Positional Outlook: James is the smallest cornerback on the Bills right now, but he’s competing against a few rookies and low-key veterans who are in the same boat as him. The Bills currently have eight cornerbacks; it’d be surprising if they kept more than five on the 53.
2017 Offseason: James was claimed off waivers by the Bills in early May.
2017 Season Outlook: With so many cornerbacks on the roster, someone’s going to have to be on the outside looking in. James does have some special teams experience that sets him apart from the rest of the group, but unless he has another club in his bag (like being able to play safety on occasion), I’d expect him to be left off the final roster.