The Buffalo Bills aren’t done adding players this offseason, and as a result, they’re making it much easier for this series to fulfill its actual name. I owe general manager Brandon Beane a debt of gratitude that I fear I will never be able to repay.
After veteran corner E.J. Gaines opted out of the 2020 NFL season due to COVID-19 concerns and Siran Neal was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, the Bills were in the market for a veteran corner to compete in training camp. They were able to find one who has spent much of his career in a similar system to the one the Bills run, but perhaps more importantly, they found a player with some positional versatility, a huge plus for Beane and head coach Sean McDermott.
In today’s edition of “91 players in 91 days,” we profile Buffalo’s newest addition to the defensive secondary.
Name: Akeem King
Height/Weight: 6’1” 215 lbs.
Age: 27 (28 on 8/29/2020)
Experience/Draft: Selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the seventh round (No. 249 overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft
College: San Jose State
Acquired: Signed with Bills on 8/2/2020
Financial situation (per Spotrac): King actually signed so recently that his contract numbers aren’t yet available. We assume that it’s a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, however, meaning that he’ll carry a cap number of around $750,000 if he makes the team this year.
2019 Recap: King played for the Seattle Seahawks in 2019, his second year with the club. He appeared on 25% of Seattle’s defensive snaps and 36% of their special teams snaps. King made three starts and, unsurprisingly, it was in those three games where he played the vast majority of his snaps. For the year, King totaled 17 tackles, two pass breakups, and one quarterback hit. He allowed ten completions and one touchdown on eighteen targets.
Positional outlook: King is a corner with experience in the slot and outside, so he has a chance to compete for time in both areas. Buffalo’s top outside corner is Tre’Davious White, and Josh Norman signed to compete with Levi Wallace for the right to start across from White. Taron Johnson and Siran Neal are the top options for Buffalo at nickel corner. Ike Brown, Cam Lewis, and Dane Jackson are Buffalo’s other corners.
2020 Season outlook: King had exceptional athletic measurable for a man his size at his 2015 pro day, running a 4.41- second forty-yard dash while throwing up 20 bench reps and leaping 37.5” in the vertical jump. It would be easy to dismiss him as a mere camp body, but given Buffalo’s love of versatile players and the desire to run a “big nickel” defense, that isn’t the case width King. Special teams coach Heath Farwell worked with King when the two were together in Seattle in 2017, as well. Although he signed late, King should provide real competition and depth in the defensive secondary.