The Buffalo Bills have a top-flight defensive secondary. They boast a First-Team All-Pro at corner and two outstanding safeties, as well as a former All-Pro, a solid young corner, and a whole host of strong depth.
Buffalo’s two starting safeties each signed free-agent contracts with the team prior to the 2017 season. While one was paid handsomely at the time, the other was not. One player was coming off a productive season as a jack-of-all-trades type in the secondary of a competitive team, and the other was coming off an injury-shortened season as part of one of the NFL’s least-successful franchises.
At the time, the contract valuations made perfect sense. However, while both players have been great in Buffalo, it turned out that the less expensive option has arguably developed into the better overall player.
In today’s edition of “91 players in 91 days,” we discuss that (initially, at least) less-heralded safety.
Name: Jordan Poyer
Height/Weight: 6’, 191 lbs.
Age: 29 (30 on 4/25/2021)
Experience/Draft: 8; selected in the seventh round (No. 218 overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles
College: Oregon State
Acquired: Signed as free agent with Bills on 3/9/17
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Poyer earned a lucrative contract extension thanks to his excellent play over the last three seasons. Initially, Poyer signed with Buffalo for four years and $13 million. In March, he signed a two-year extension worth an additional $19.5 million, a deal that will keep him in Buffalo through the 2022 season. In 2020, Poyer’s cap hit is now $8 million. We broke down his contract extension right here.
2019 Recap: Another year, another display of what makes Poyer one of the best players on one of the NFL’s best defenses. He led the Bills in solo tackles with 71, totaling 107 tackles overall (second on the team only to linebacker Tremaine Edmunds). Poyer added two interceptions, three pass breakups, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, one sack, four tackles for a loss, and one quarterback hit while playing 977 total snaps on defense, also second to Edmunds (981).
Positional outlook: Poyer is one of Buffalo’s two starting safeties along with Micah Hyde. Everyone else on the depth chart is fighting for a chance to be a backup to those two players. The rest of the team’s safeties are Dean Marlowe, Siran Neal, Jaquan Johnson, Josh Thomas, and Garrett Taylor.
2020 Offseason: Aside from the contract extension, nothing new to report. Poyer was interviewed by the team’s official website about staying in shape during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2020 Season outlook: Poyer will start and, along with Micah Hyde, he will make up one half of one of the league’s best safety duos again. With each passing game, Poyer proves just how shrewd an acquisition he was back in March of 2017. Perhaps this year, Poyer will finally be recognized for his talents and make either his first Pro Bowl or an All-Pro team. Either way, the Bills are lucky to have him.