For the Buffalo Bills, there are many positional battles that come to mind before one even considers the linebacker corps. With a veteran stalwart, a second-year player looking to follow up a solid rookie season, and a first-round draft pick all in line to start, there seems to be little drama surrounding the position entering training camp.
Most of the decisions surrounding the linebackers revolve around the special teams unit and substitution packages. In the latest installment of our “90 players in 90 days” series, we zero in on one of those linebackers looking to find his way on to the back end of the roster.
Name: Xavier Woodson-Luster
Height/Weight: 6’1” 226 lbs.
College: Arkansas State
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Woodson signe a reserve/future contract with Buffalo on January 10. The contract is a two-year deal worth a total of $1,200,000, none of which is guaranteed. If he makes the roster, he will carry a $555,000 cap hit in 2018.
2017 Recap: Woodson-Luster began the season with the Raiders, who signed him as a UDFA in May 2017. He played in 14 games with the club, spending most of his time on special teams. He played a total of 208 snaps on special teams (48.6% of Oakland’s total), making 4 tackles on the year. He only appeared on 44 defensive snaps with the Raiders. They released him on December 20, and the Bills signed him to their practice squad on December 26. He remained on the squad for the rest of the season.
Positional outlook: As a special-teamer, Woodson-Luster has competition from both veterans (Julian Stanford, Ramon Humber, and Tanner Vallejo) and projected starters (Matt Milano, Tremaine Edmunds, and Lorenzo Alexander) alike. Buffalo signed versatile veteran Keenan Robinson two days before training camp begins. The team also has Corey Thompson and Deon Lacey in camp.
2018 Offseason: Woodson-Luster has attended all offseason activities to date.
2018 season outlook: Chances are slim that Woodson-Luster finds himself on the Bills’ active roster when the preseason ends in early September. With a clear pecking-order, it will take an injury or a phenomenal performance on his end to stick with the team.