Practice squads are a good place to find emergency depth mid-season, but it’s rare to find someone who will stick to a roster when he’s called up. The Buffalo Bills have a guy on their hands who played reasonably well for a bit in a pinch last year, but might be the victim of a numbers game at defensive tackle.
Name: Deandre Coleman
Height/Weight: 6’5”, 341 lbs.
Draft: UDFA (2014)
Financial Situation (per Spotrac): Coleman is in the final year of the contract he signed when he joined the Bills near the end of last season. His cap hit is $690,000 and he has no guaranteed money headed his way.
2016 Recap: Coleman spent most of the 2016 offseason with the Miami Dolphins, but was released as part of their final cut to 53. He was signed to the Bills’ practice squad a few days later and earned a promotion to the starting roster when Corbin Bryant landed on IR in November. He recorded three tackles in five games and saw limited action after his first two, only playing eight defensive snaps over the final three weeks of the season.
Positional Outlook: The top two spots at defensive tackle are set, and Jerel Worthy is a good bet to serve as the top reserve. The final reserve spot (assuming there is one) is probably Adolphus Washington’s to lose, if you set aside his off-the-field troubles that the Bills have seemingly moved past for the time being.
2017 Offseason: Coleman’s kept a low profile so far through training camp. It’s hard to say where he stands in the eyes of the new coaching staff so far.
2017 Season Outlook: At this point, I wouldn’t put any money on Coleman making the roster. The Bills have four capable bodies at the position right now, so unless someone is injured or under-performs there might not even be any room for someone like Coleman to land on the 53. He’s spent three seasons on various practice squads, so he doesn’t have any eligibility remaining on that end. His best chance to stick in the league is to put some good tape out there over the next month.