The Buffalo Bills finished 29th in rushing yards allowed during the 2017 NFL season, allowing 122.4 yards per contest. The Bills also finished 29th in total sacks, notching only 27. It’s no surprise, then, that the team focused much of its offseason on overhauling the defensive line. Those improvements have continued even as training camp has begun.
In the latest edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we profile one of the newest members of the Bills’ defense.
Name: John Hughes
Height/Weight: 6’4” 320 lbs.
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Hughes signed a one-year deal with the Bills on July 26. Terms of the deal are unavailable via Spotrac or OvertheCap, but it is presumably for the veteran’s minimum, meaning he will carry a cap hit in the neighborhood of $720,000-$790,000 should he make the final roster.
2017 Recap: Hughes spent the 2017 season with the New Orleans Saints. He signed after training camp ended, joining the club on August 12. He was waived by the team on September 2 when they trimmed the roster to 53 players. He re-signed with New Orleans on October 4, but was then cut again on November 6. Following the pattern, the Saints re-signed him 2 days later. He was injured in the Saints’ Christmas Eve contest against the Atlanta Falcons, suffering a torn biceps muscle that led the team to place him on injured reserve. On the season, he played in eight games and made 10 tackles.
Positional outlook: Hughes is a big-bodied space eater who can hold down the one-technique spot on Buffalo’s defensive line. This signing gives the Bills four players for that spot (Hughes, Star Lotululei, Harrison Phillips, and Rickey Hatley) to go with three defensive tackles who are more adept in penetrating the offensive backfield (Kyle Williams, Adolphus Washington, and Marquevious Lewis).
2018 Offseason: Hughes just joined the club, so he hasn’t had much chance to make an impression, but he has participated in camp since his arrival on the 26th.
2018 season outlook: Hughes certainly isn’t home alone along Buffalo’s defensive line, and of all the career opportunities he had, this one could prove to be a difficult one to land. He’ll have no time for vacation or days off if he wants to make the roster. There are a few players closer to blowing out sixteen candles on the roster than the 30-year-old Hughes (who’s listed as 29 by Wikipedia, but 30 by the Bills and the NFL), so it will be interesting to see if Buffalo is a permanent stop for the veteran tackle or if he’s just visiting.