It’s not often that the Buffalo Bills’ roster contains a player that is coming off a Super Bowl appearance. They do have one of those players this year, however, having signed a key figure in the Atlanta Falcons’ fifth-ranked rushing offense from a year ago. He doesn’t have a very recognizable name, but the Bills can use what he brings to the game.
Name: Patrick DiMarco
Height/Weight: 6’1”, 234 lbs.
College: South Carolina
Draft: UDFA (2012)
Financial Situation (per Spotrac): DiMarco signed a four-year deal with the Bills this offseason that carries a cap hit in 2017 of $1.85 million, a figure that gradually rises to $2.35 million by 2020. He’s guaranteed $4.8 million, and if he were to be released this year the dead cap hit would be $3.3 million.
2016 Recap: DiMarco didn’t carry the ball for the Falcons last year (he has one carry in his 67-game career), and only caught seven passes for 52 yards. He did catch a one-year touchdown pass in Atlanta’s Week 9 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He caught three passes for 43 yards during Atlanta’s playoff run, including two for 12 yards in Super Bowl LI. More importantly, though, Di Marco excelled as a blocker for the Falcons’ superb rushing duo of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. His PFF run block grade of 82.8 topped all fullbacks last year.
Positional Outlook: While DiMarco doesn’t figure to get many (if any) carries in a run game that will be dominated by LeSean McCoy, he will be a primary figure in the run game as he fills the role of blocking back that Jerome Felton held for the last couple years.
2017 Offseason: DiMarco signed with the Bills at the onset of free agency in March. He hasn’t had a huge presence in the preseason, as he’s only appeared in 13 offensive plays through two games and his most notable play was a holding penalty against the Eagles. He’s seen plenty of special teams action so far, though, and recorded a tackle against the Vikngs in the preseason opener.
2017 Season Outlook: DiMarco probably isn’t going to be a huge contributor on the stat sheet, but that’s not what he’s on the roster for. He’s there to make Shady, Jonathan Williams, Tyrod Taylor, and anybody else who runs the ball look good. To that end, he should be a key contributor in 2017.