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91 players in 91 days: Wide receiver Robert Foster

Josh Allen’s favorite deep target in 2018 fell off a statistical cliff in 2019. Can he recover?

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

In 2018, the Buffalo Bills began to reshape their wide receiver group. They moved away from lumbering targets like Kelvin Benjamin and Andre Holmes, shifting instead to faster players like Isaiah McKenzie and Robert Foster in the second half of the season.

Last season, Buffalo continued that trend, adding John Brown and Cole Beasley to the group. With the addition of Stefon Diggs this past March, Buffalo has entirely re-imagined their receiving corps in under two calendar years.

What does that mean for some of the players who remain on the roster from 2018? In today’s installment of “91 players in 91 days,” we examine one such wideout.

Name: Robert Foster
Number: 16
Position: WR
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 196 lbs.
Age: 26 (27 on 5/7/2021)
Experience/Draft: 2; signed as undrafted free agent with Bills following 2018 NFL Draft
College: Alabama
Acquired: Signed as UDFA on 5/11/18

Financial situation (per Spotrac): Foster signed a one-year contract as an exclusive-rights free agent (ERFA) this offseason. That one-year deal is worth a total of $750,000, which is also Foster’s cap number if he makes the final roster. None of the money in the contract is guaranteed.

2019 Recap: After a breakout second-half of the season in 2018, last season registers as a complete disaster for Foster. He was targeted 18 times in the passing game, managing only three catches for 64 yards. Foster also had two carries for 29 rushing yards. He played primarily as a gunner on special teams coverage, notching four tackles on the year.

Positional outlook: Foster already found himself low on the depth chart before Diggs came aboard, but the addition of the star wideout only pushes him further down the list. Diggs, Brown, Beasley, McKenzie, Andre Roberts, Duke Williams, Gabriel Davis, Isaiah Hodgins, Nick Easley, and Ray-Ray McCloud III make up the entire wide receiver group.

2020 Offseason: Nothing new to report.

2020 Season outlook: Unless Foster can provide use as a return man, it’s difficult to see him making the roster as a special teams gunner only. With Diggs, Brown, and Beasley sure bets to make the roster, and fourth-round pick Davis and return specialist Roberts not far behind, that leaves Foster fighting for one or two spots on the roster. Of the players left, Foster has shown flashes of being the best receiver of the bunch, as his 2018 stat line (27/541/3) is the best single-season total of anyone outside of Buffalo’s top-five, excluding Davis, of course. Consistency has been a major issue for Foster, and if he hasn’t worked that out yet, then Buffalo may choose to go with Hodgins, Williams, McKenzie, or some combination that includes two of those three. Any way you slice it, Foster is somewhere in the six-to-nine range among Buffalo’s wideouts, putting his roster spot in a precarious position heading into September.