The Buffalo Bills seem to have a solid pecking order at the wide receiver position. Coming into camp, it was assumed that the top five receivers were all but set in stone, and the reps at practice thus far have backed that assumption. The remaining questions concern the other players—and just how many of them the coaching staff will keep.
In the early portion of training camp, it appears that even the sixth wideout is essentially set. So the real question now is two-fold. Will the Bills keep seven wide receivers? And if they do, who is the seventh man?
In today’s installment of our “90 players in 90 days” series, we examine one of the young players trying to be that seventh person.
Name: Cam Phillips
Height/Weight: 6’ 201 lbs.
Age: 23 (24 on 12/16/19)
Experience/Draft: 1; signed as UDFA with Bills on 5/11/18
College: Virginia Tech
Acquired: Signed reserve/future contract to remain with team on 12/31/18
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Phillips is in the first year of the two-year reserve/future deal he signed in December. The contract’s total value is $1.2 million, none of which is guaranteed. If he makes the 53-man roster, Phillips will carry a cap hit of $570,000 for the 2019 season.
2018 Recap: Phillips had a strong training camp as a rookie, but he did not make the final roster initially. He was signed to the Bills’ practice squad after cut-downs, where he remained until a midseason activation on October 10. Phillips was active for two games, playing 16 offensive snaps and four special-teams snaps in the team’s 37-5 loss to the Indianapolis Colts and then playing 11 offensive snaps and four more special-teams snaps in Buffalo’s 25-6 loss on Monday Night Football. He caught his only target, a nine-yard reception, in the latter contest.
Positional outlook: Phillips is part of a crowded field at receiver. Andre Roberts, Zay Jones, John Brown, Cole Beasley, and Robert Foster have long been thought safe, and second-year man Ray-Ray McCloud III has positioned himself as the sixth man. Phillips finds himself battling with David Sills V, Nick Easley, Isaiah McKenzie, Victor Bolden Jr., and Duke Williams for a potential seventh spot on the active roster.
2019 Offseason: Phillips has participated in all offseason activities to date, running mostly with the second and third teams. He did see first-team reps on July 28 when Zay Jones sat out of the team portions of practice.
2019 Season outlook: Phillips is really the beginning of the end with regard to the receiver depth chart. He has shown well for himself this summer, as he is having a solid camp overall. While he may not be the biggest, the fastest, or the strongest, he runs good routes and has good hands. He seems to have a knack for finding openings, which is exactly what the coaching staff wants to see in its receivers. If the Bills take seven wideouts, my bet is that Phillips is the seventh; otherwise, he’ll be a high-priority signing to the team’s practice squad in the beginning of September.