The Buffalo Bills won’t see one of their core special teamers for the first six games of the season—that’s how long linebacker Andre Smith has been suspended for a PED violation, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Smith didn’t play on defense last season, and only took 47 snaps in 2020, but he was one of the team’s primary contributors in the kicking game, appearing on two-thirds of snaps in the last two seasons.
Smith is in the second year of a two-year, $2.4 million contract he signed last offseason. He’ll be paid $1.25 million this year, but only $125,000 would remain on the salary cap if the Bills released him.
With Smith unavailable for the start of the season, the back end of Buffalo’s linebacker depth chart sees a little bit of shaking up. Third-round pick Terrel Bernard had a safe roster spot, but seventh-round rookie Baylon Spector and third-year pro Tyrel Dodson were expected to compete alongside Smith and veteran Tyler Matakevich for one or two remaining roster spots. Smith’s absence allows Spector and Dodson to more-or-less compete head-to-head for the 53-man roster this summer.