The Buffalo Bills do not boast one of the more talented wide receiver groups in the NFL. As a result, the positional battles throughout training camp and the preseason should be fun to watch, since the back end of the receiving corps could really go a host of ways. There are some veterans in the mix along with some young players and rookies, all of whom will look to show that they belong.
In our latest installment of “90 players in 90 days,” we discuss one of those veterans who will try to maintain his hold on a roster spot for 2018.
Name: Andre Holmes
Height/Weight: 6’4” 210 lbs.
Draft: Acquired by the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2011
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Holmes enters the second year of a three-year pact signed last offseason. The total value of the contract is $5.15 million, and his 2018 cap hit is $1.75 million.
2017 Recap: Holmes made the most of a limited number of targets, catching 13 of 22 passes thrown his way. He had 120 receiving yards and a team-high 3 touchdowns. He also was a mainstay on Buffalo’s special teams, as he participated in 47.6% of the snaps in the third phase of the game. That total was good for the sixth-highest mark on the team.
Positional outlook: Besides Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones, nothing is certain at the receiver position for Buffalo. Veteran Jeremy Kerley signed in April, and it’s easy to assume that he will be the third wideout; however, it’s also possible that the Bills go young and decide to keep rookies Ray-Ray McCloud (drafted in round 6 this year), Austin Proehl (drafted in round 7 this year), or undrafted free agent signings Cam Phillips or Robert Foster. The Bills also have Kaelin Clay, Malachi Dupre, and Brandon Reilly, each of whom spent time on the active roster last season, though Clay was the only one to see in-game action. Quan Bray and veteran Rod Streater round out the receivers on the current roster.
2018 Offseason: Little has been said about Holmes this offseason that we don’t already know. He’s a big target whose best asset is his ability and willingness to play special teams. With Zay Jones out for the spring after knee surgery, Holmes may have an extended period to show that he can be more than a special teams player and a red zone option in the passing game.
2018 season outlook: I would love to say that Holmes is in danger of losing his roster spot due to someone just outplaying him, but until that actually comes to light, his special teams ability seems to make him a near-lock for the roster. If one of the young receivers shows up on special teams, then it’s possible that Holmes could be knocked from his perch as the team’s fourth wide receiver. It’s far more likely that he ends up on the final roster than he ends up a cut, but in a muddled receiver group, anything is possible.