The Buffalo Bills have a loaded defensive line group. The team spent both free-agent dollars and draft capital to add a stellar mix of players—young and old—to the positional grouping. In all likelihood, this group may present the teamwith its toughest cut-down decisions when the preseason ends (with a nod to the wide receiver group, as well).
In today’s installment of “91 players in 91 days,” we profile one of Buffalo’s newest defensive linemen—someone with a very familiar name if you’ve followed the team for a while.
Name: Bryan Cox Jr.
Height/Weight: 6’3”, 270 lbs.
Age: 25 (26 on 6/25/2020)
Experience/Draft: 4; signed with Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent following the 2017 NFL Draft
Acquired: Signed with Bills on 4/29/2020
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Cox Jr. signed a one-year deal worth a total of $825,000. None of the money in the contract is guaranteed.
2019 Recap: Cox Jr. began the year with the Panthers, but he was released prior to the start of the regular season. He re-signed with Carolina On October 1, appearing in one game for the club before he was released again a month later. He signed with the Cleveland Browns on November 13, subsequently appearing in six games (two starts) while managing to play a fairly substantial snap share in the process. In four of his six games with the Browns, Cox Jr. played over half of the team’s defensive end snaps. For the 2019 season, he totaled 13 tackles, two tackles for a loss, five quarterback hits, and half a sack.
Positional outlook: As we’ve said numerous times, Cox Jr. is part of one of the deepest positional groups on the roster, and arguably one of the deepest defensive line groups in the NFL. The other edge rushers on Buffalo’s roster are Jerry Hughes, Trent Murphy, Mario Addison, A.J. Epenesa, Darryl Johnson Jr., Mike Love, and Jonathan Woodard, with Quinton Jefferson listed as a “defensive lineman,” indicating that he will be expected to play defensive end and defensive tackle.
2020 Offseason: Nothing new to report.
2020 Season outlook: Barring injury, Cox Jr. is likely a training camp body in the city where his father was absolutely reviled as a member of the Miami Dolphins in the early 90s.
He’s accrued too many seasons (3) for practice-squad eligibility, so if he doesn’t make Buffalo’s roster, he’ll be looking elsewhere for work. Under the new CBA rules, he could be kept on the practice squad, since there is room for a maximum of two players with an “unlimited” number of accrued seasons. With Cox Jr.’s connection to defensive line coach Eric Washington, that could improve his chances of sticking around if he doesn’t make the final roster. Either way, the preseason will be an important audition time for Cox Jr.