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90 players in 90 days: Safety Jordan Poyer

The criminally underrated veteran is back

Buffalo Bills Training Camp Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Sometimes, consistent people are overlooked. For the Buffalo Bills, they have plenty of players who stand out for a variety of reasons, especially to fans of the team. In the national conversation, though, some of Buffalo’s more consistent performers who may not make the sensational plays that others do are often forgotten when groups make their annual “Best Of” lists.

This is the only explanation I have for not one, but both of Buffalo’s exceptional safeties consistently remaining outside of the conversation for the best players at their position. Since 2017, the Bills have boasted an elite back end on defense thanks to their two safeties, a pair of cast-offs from other organizations who signed in Buffalo together.

In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we profile one half of one of the league’s best safety duos.


Name: Jordan Poyer

Number: 21

Position: S

Height/Weight: 6’ 191 lbs

Age: 30 (31 on 4/25/2022)

Experience/Draft: 9; selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh round (No. 213 overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft

College: Oregon State

Acquired: Signed with Buffalo on 3/9/2017

Financial situation (per Spotrac): Poyer signed a two-year extension last year. The contract is worth a total of $19.5 million, with $13.3 million guaranteed. For the 2021 season, Poyer carries a salary cap hit of $7.875 million. If he were to be released or traded, the Bills would be responsible for a dead-cap charge of $6.775 million.

2020 Recap: Poyer once again manned the back end of Buffalo’s defense, providing solid support against the run and deeper passes. He led the team in defensive snaps played, appearing on 94 percent of the team’s snaps as the only member of the defense to play more than 1,000 snaps, clocking in at 1,010. He also led the Bills in tackles, making 124 stops on the season. He had two interceptions, five pass breakups, two forced fumbles, two sacks, four tackles-for-loss, and four quarterback hits.

Positional outlook: Poyer and teammate Micah Hyde will start for the Bills once again barring some unforeseen event or an injury. Damar Hamlin, Jaquan Johnson, Josh Thomas, and Tariq Thompson are vying for spots as a reserve, though slot corner Siran Neal can also play safety.

2021 Offseason: Poyer is healthy, he has attended OTAs, and he is in camp currently.

2021 Season outlook: Poyer is the definition of a steady player whose elite ability doesn’t immediately jump off the page or the stat sheet. When you watch Bills games, it’s easy to forget that he’s there on occasion, but then when the play is over, he’s the first guy out of the pile after making a tackle, or the last line of defense breaking up a deep pass. Sometimes, his mere presence keeps those deep passes from even being attempted, which is both an example of how talented he is and how perfectly he fits in head coach Sean McDermott and defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier’s scheme. Miss me with the Madden ratings and the PFF lists containing the supposed “best” at each position. Give me a guy like Poyer who blends perfectly into the scheme any day of the week, but especially on Sunday. He’s due for another fantastic year in 2021.