The Buffalo Bills had some problems last year at the safety position. While the starting duo was outstanding, the second wave of players left a lot to be desired. The team has overhauled the position as a result, and they have a variety of solid players who will battle for backup roles with the team this season.
In our latest edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we profile one of those safeties looking to make the back end of the roster.
Name: L.J. McCray
Height/Weight: 6’0” 210 lbs.
Financial situation (per Spotrac): McCray signed a one-year deal with the Bills in January. The pact pays him $630,000 if he makes the roster. None of his salary is guaranteed.
2017 Recap: McCray began the 2017 with the Carolina Panthers. He was placed on injured reserve on September 2, then waived with an injury settlement on September 11. The Bills signed him to their practice squad on October 17, where he remained until January 2, just five days before Buffalo played the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
Positional outlook: McCray joins a crowded field vying for the right to back up starters Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. Rafael Bush and Siran Neal figure to have the inside slant at making the final roster, barring injury, and it’s unlikely that the Bills will keep more than four safeties. If they do keep a fifth, Kelcie McCray (no relation to L.J.) and Dean Marlowe are the other players battling for a spot.
2018 Offseason: McCray has attended all offseason workouts to date.
2018 season outlook: My best guess is that the Bills would keep Kelcie McCray over L.J. McCray, as the former’s superior size and length (6’2” vs. 6’) gives the Bills something they don’t have in their defensive backfield. None of the team’s corners or safeties stand taller than 6’ except for Kelcie McCray and Dean Marlowe, so if the the team goes with a fifth safety, my guess is that it will be one of those guys.