The Buffalo Bills should have some fierce competition for roster spots all throughout the summer. General manager Brandon Beane has added depth and talent along the offensive line, at defensive back, at linebacker, and at tight end. He has also made the wide receiver group stronger.
In order for second-year quarterback Josh Allen to progress, he needs weapons. Beane signed a pair of veteran wideouts to help the young quarterback in his development. Those signings could push other players off the roster. In today’s installment of our “90 players in 90 days” series, we look at one such player—a late-season addition in 2018 who is firmly on the roster bubble in 2019.
Name: Victor Bolden Jr.
Height/Weight: 5’8” 173 lbs.
Age: 24 (25 on 4/4/20)
College: Oregon State
Acquired: Signed off San Francisco’s practice squad on 12/18/18
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Bolden Jr. enters the second year of a two-year deal. The total worth of the contract is $1.2 million, of which no money is guaranteed. In 2019, Bolden Jr. carries a cap hit of $645,000 should he make the final roster.
2018 Recap: Bolden Jr. played in six games in 2018—four with San Francisco and two with Buffalo—while also spending time on the 49ers’ practice squad. The four games he played in for San Francisco all came in the month of October. He totaled 68 snaps, 57 of which came in the team’s 28-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on October 7, and was targeted once. He caught the pass, gaining ten yards. While with the Bills, Bolden Jr. only appeared on three offensive plays, and he was not targeted on any of them during the team’s 42-17 blowout victory over the Miami Dolphins to close the season. Bolden Jr. did return five kicks with Buffalo, gaining a total of 116 yards in the season’s final two games.
Positional outlook: Bolden is one of 13 wide receivers vying for a spot on the 53-man roster. Most agree that some combination of Zay Jones, Robert Foster, Cole Beasley, John Brown, and Andre Roberts represents Buffalo’s top five at the position, meaning Bolden will battle with Duke Williams, Da’Mari Scott, Cam Phillips, Isaiah McKenzie, Ray-Ray McCloud III, David Sills V, and Nick Easley for one or two spots on the roster.
2019 Offseason: Bolden has participated in all offseason activities to date, and he has impressed to the point where Joe Buscaglia thinks that he’ll make the final roster. Bolden Jr. has worked out of the slot in Beasley’s absence as the latter continues to recover from offseason core muscle surgery.
2019 Season outlook: The wide receiver group is going to be one to watch all summer, and Bolden Jr. definitely has an outside chance of making the roster. I won’t go as far as saying that he’s the favorite, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the decision is really between four players—Bolden Jr., McKenzie, Williams, and Sills—for one or two spots on the final roster. Buffalo has options, which is good, but it will lead to some stressful times down the road as the team whittles its final roster down in September. If Bolden Jr. shows himself to be a capable slot receiver as well as a good enough returner to step in if Roberts is injured, then he will give himself a good chance at making the squad.