The Buffalo Bills completely remade their secondary in 2017, literally replacing all four of the men who started at corner and safety in 2016. When the team added safety Jordan Poyer, he was overshadowed both in terms of payment and in name recognition by fellow free agent signee Micah Hyde. While Buffalo lost Stephon Gilmore to the New England Patriots in free agency, they took the money that the Patriots paid him, which was a little over $8 million, and gave it to Hyde ($4 million) and Poyer ($2.475 million) and still had some left over.
Of all the free agent signings the Bills made last season, Poyer was the one whose addition was both the most pleasant surprise and the best surplus value.
2017 Cap Hit (per Spotrac): $2.475 million (1.6% of 2017 Cap)
2017 Cap Hit Rank by Position: 45th among safeties
2017 Vital Stats: 15 games, 15 starts (93.68% defensive snaps; 18.08% ST snaps), 95 tackles, 2 sacks, 5 interceptions, 13 pass breakups, 1 fumble recovery, 1 TD
After missing most of the 2016 season due to a lacerated kidney, the Cleveland Browns decided that Poyer was expendable. For the Bills, it’s a good thing that Cleveland did, as Poyer came in and immediately helped to solidify the defensive secondary. Pro Football Focus ranked Poyer 9th among all safeties in 2017, grading him as a high-quality player with an 87.6 overall grade.
Rarely does a free agent signing work out so well in such a short time frame, but the Bills were able to strike gold twice at the same position in the same offseason with regard to free agents. Poyer’s stellar 2017 season was only made better due to his low salary cap number.
Best 2017 Bills salary cap values
10. QB Tyrod Taylor (article)
9. LB Preston Brown (article)
8. LT Dion Dawkins (article)
7. LB Matt Milano (article)
6. CB E.J. Gaines (article)
5. RB LeSean McCoy (article)
4. OG Richie Incognito (article)
3. FS Micah Hyde (article)
2. SS Jordan Poyer (article)
1. CB Tre’Davious White (article)