With the Buffalo Bills transitioning from former head coach Rex Ryan’s defensive scheme to new head man Sean McDermott’s defense, multiple positions will be up for grabs. This bodes well for some of the lesser-known names on the defense, as a new regime could be just what they needed.
Bradley Sylve, a former Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back, will attempt to capitalize on the new regime by showing that he has fully recovered from a devastating Achilles tendon injury suffered just before Alabama’s pro day in 2016.
Name: Bradley Sylve
Position: Defensive Back
Height/Weight: 5’11”, 180 lbs.
Draft: Undrafted in 2016; signed with Buffalo as UDFA 4/7/2017
Financial Situation (per Spotrac): Sylve’s contract is the standard for an undrafted free agent—1 year, $465,000, no guarantees.
2016 Recap: Sylve spent the entirety of the 2016 season rehabbing from his Achilles tendon tear.
Positional Outlook: The corner position is one that will undergo some change this season, but it is a crowded field full of talented players. Perhaps Sylve is listed as a DB, not a CB, on the team’s official website because they plan to use him as both a corner and a safety during camp. It’s also possible that he will be used primarily as a special teams player, which was his greatest strength in Alabama. He led the Crimson Tide in special teams tackles with 9 during his senior season.
2017 Offseason: Finally healthy, Sylve participated in rookie minicamp this offseason. Matthew Fairburn wrote a great piece profiling Sylve prior to the start of that minicamp. It’s worth a read.
2017 Season Outlook: Sylve is a very long shot to make the roster; unless his all-world speed (he was clocked at 4.27 seconds in the 40-yard dash prior to his injury) returns and he shows himself to be a valuable special teams contributor, it’s more likely that he’ll be fighting for a spot on the practice squad than the 53-man roster come September.