The Buffalo Bills did not rush the passer particularly well in 2017, accumulating only 27 sacks over the team’s 16 regular season games. Since the team spent plenty of resources enhancing the defensive secondary in the 2017 offseason, it only made sense for them to invest heavily in the defensive front in 2018.
In the latest installment of our “90 players in 90 days” series, we look at one of Buffalo’s biggest free agent acquisitions.
Name: Trent Murphy
Height/Weight: 6’6” 259 lbs.
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Murphy signed a three-year deal worth $22.5 million on March 14. For the 2018 season, he will count $4.475 million against the cap.
2017 Recap: 2017 was the worst season of Murphy’s professional career from both a performance and personal standpoint. On April 14, Murphy was suspended 4 games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. With that suspension not slated to begin until the start of the regular season, Murphy played in Washington’s preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens. He suffered a torn ACL and MCL in that game, ending his season before it even began.
Positional outlook: If he is healthy, Murphy figures to start opposite fellow pass rusher Jerry Hughes on Buffalo’s revamped defensive line. Shaq Lawson, Eddie Yarbrough, Owa Odighizuwa, and Terrance Fede represent the other players with professional experience at the position. The Bills also have second-year man Marquevious Lewis on the roster to go along with undrafted rookies Mike Love and Mat Boesen.
2018 Offseason: Murphy is still rehabbing his knee, and he hopes to be ready by the time camp opens in July. He has spoken very highly of Buffalo, and he seems genuinely grateful and enthused about the upcoming year.
2018 season outlook: Murphy’s 2016 season was the best of his career, as he notched 47 tackles and 9 sacks for Washington. If he can return to that form in 2018, the Bills will have found themselves the sort of pass rushing help that they desperately lacked last season. Murphy is a near-lock to start if his knee is right, so he will have every opportunity to succeed.