The Buffalo Bills’ secondary has, for the better part of the last two seasons, been outstanding. While they struggled to find the right person to man the second cornerback spot last season, once they found their guy, the defense clamped down and excelled.
At safety, the Bills are set in terms of their starting unit, but depth players will find themselves in a fierce competition for inclusion on the final roster. Today, we look at one of those depth players, a player brought over to Buffalo from the Carolina Panthers who has been solid in a pinch.
Here is our latest edition of “90 players in 90 days.”
Name: Dean Marlowe
Height/Weight: 6’1” 208 lbs.
Age: 26 (27 on 7/25/19)
Experience/Draft: 3; signed with Carolina as UDFA following 2015 NFL Draft
College: James Madison
Acquired: Signed to Bills’ practice squad 12/17/17; signed reserve/future deal on 1/8/18.
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Marlowe is in the final year of his two-year contract signed in 2018. The total value of the deal is $1,200,000, of which none is guaranteed. Marlowe’s cap number for 2019 is $645,000 if he makes the roster.
2018 Recap: Marlowe looked like he could be the fourth safety coming out of the preseason, but he was beaten out by rookie Siran Neal and subsequently waived. After passing through waivers, Marlowe signed with Buffalo’s practice squad, and he was called into action for the Bills’ Week 5 tilt against the Tennessee Titans. He played every defensive snap in that game, 54 in total, helping the Bills’ defense clamp down in earning a gritty 13-12 victory. He had four tackles and a pass breakup in the game. Following the game, he was waived and re-signed to the practice squad, where he remained until December 12. He next appeared in Buffalo’s season finale, playing only on special teams in the team’s blowout victory over the Miami Dolphins.
Positional outlook: Marlowe once again finds himself in a tough spot, as starters Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde are set for the third straight year. Veteran backup Rafael Bush is joined by Neal, who enters his second year, and fifth-round pick Jaquan Johnson. The team also signed undrafted free agent Abraham Wallace.
2019 Offseason: Marlowe agreed to participate in teammate Micah Hyde’s charity softball game earlier this spring. (The game is in June.) Otherwise, little has been written about him.
2019 Season outlook: It doesn’t look good for Marlowe, who will probably be left off the roster in favor of the two young players Buffalo has drafted over the last two seasons. He’s clearly behind the three veterans in Hyde, Poyer, and Bush, and whether Buffalo chooses to go with four or five safeties, the numbers just aren’t in his favor. A return to the practice squad isn’t out of the question, but Marlowe also may choose to move on if he is released again.