The Buffalo Bills are in a strange spot when it comes to their linebacker corps. One of their two Pro Bowl linebackers left to join the Washington Redskins in free agency, and the other has serious questions around whether he can recapture the magic he had during the 2016 season.
To add to that uncertainty, last year’s second round draft pick Reggie Ragland is widely considered to be a better fit in 3-4 defense, which the Bills ran under former head coach Rex Ryan. The Bills signed veteran Sam Barrington to bring depth and try and shore up the LB position.
Name: Sam Barrington
Height/Weight: 6’1”, 240 lbs
College: University of South Florida (Go Bulls)
Draft: Round 7, Pick 232 by the Green Bay Packers (2013)
Financial Situation (per Spotrac): Barrington signed a one year contract for $775,000. The cap hit on the contract is $615,000.
2016 Recap: After being cut by the Packers in camp, Barrington bounced around the league, spending two months with the Kansas City Chiefs and then signing with the New Orleans Saints after being released. Barrington only appeared in seven games last season without recording any stats.
Positional Outlook: It seems like Preston Brown is firmly in control of the starting middle linebacker spot and Ragland isn’t having the greatest camp behind him. Behind Brown, the linebacker spot seems wide open. With a good camp, Barrington could potentially compete for a backup role.
2017 Offseason: Barrington signed with the Bills on July 25th. There has not been much talk about how Barrington has performed so far in camp.
2017 Season Outlook: Barrington needs to hope he proves to be a better fit in Head Coach Sean McDermott’s defense than Ragland. If he can do that, then he has a chance to crack the 53.