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Why would an NFL free agent pass on signing with the Buffalo Bills?

There are some factors in play.

The Buffalo Bills have a ton of cap space to spend in 2019, but that doesn’t mean NFL free agents are going to flock to sign in Western New York. In fact, there are some reasons why Buffalo might not be a great place to land.

Offensive offense

The Bills have a quarterback who isn’t very accurate, a porous offensive line, and weapons that have underwhelmed. And that doesn’t even mention the sheer number of holes, with possibly six or seven new starters on the offense next season. The offense is a work in progress and that’s not going to appeal to every free agent.

Playoff Drought

It’s still a thing. All of these players grew up, played college, and started their NFL career while the Bills were the NFL’s biggest losers (or at least longest losers). They still have a reputation as being a moribund franchise, even if they snapped the playoff drought in 2017.


The weather in Buffalo gets a bad rap. Bills owner Kim Pegula said this month that Buffalo summers are so beautiful, and she’s right. Not to mention spring and fall, but for an NFL player who grew up in the South, played college football in the SEC, and has been in another NFL city for four or five years, a lot of what they hear about Buffalo is the massive snowfall totals. It’s hard to overcome a pervasive stereotype like that. There’s also nothing to do in Buffalo, if you ask Willis McGahee, and the hotels suck according to Tom Brady.

Cap space

Not Buffalo’s cap space, but other teams’. The Indianapolis Colts with their steady head coach, franchise quarterback, and domed games have the most cap space in the league and they made the playoffs. The Houston Texans have an exciting quarterback and play in Houston, plus have star J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins to build around and $60 million in cap space. The Seattle Seahawks have $55 million, the San Francisco 49ers have $49 million, and the Dallas Cowboys are right behind them. Buffalo has the cap space, but do they have the cachet?