The Buffalo Bills have plenty of cornerback depth. As a result, there are good football players the team can stash at the back end of the roster, or perhaps even on the practice squad, who would otherwise be contributors elsewhere. The obvious issue with trying to hide a player on the practice squad is that other teams can then sign that player to their active roster.
With the subject of today’s “90 players in 90 days,” the Bills have been able to hide him on the practice squad for the last few years. He’s been a solid contributor when called upon, but he has not been able to crack the regular rotation thanks to the talented people in front of him. Does he make the 53-man roster this season? Is he poached off the practice squad? Let’s discuss.
Name: Cam Lewis
Height/Weight: 5’9” 183 lbs
Age: 25 (26 on 4/13/2023)
Experience/Draft: 3; signed with Buffalo as UDFA following the 2019 NFL Draft
Acquired: UDFA signing
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Lewis is in the final year of the reserve/futures contract he signed prior to the 2021 season. That deal is worth a total of $1.39 million, of which no money is guaranteed. He’ll carry a cap hit of $925,000 should he make the 53-man roster.
2021 Recap: Lewis had a solid preseason, but he was waived prior to the start of the regular season. He signed with the practice squad on September 1. When starting slot corner Taron Johnson was ruled out due to a groin injury for Buffalo’s Week 4 matchup with the Houston Texans, it was Lewis who took his place in the starting lineup. Buffalo elevated the practice squad corner, who played all 47 defensive snaps in the 40-0 victory. Lewis had four tackles, one tackle for loss, one pass breakup, and one forced fumble in the contest. Lewis was signed to the active roster on November 11, two weeks before Tre’Davious White tore his ACL. He did not appear in another game until December 6—the 14-10 loss to the New England Patriots. In all, Lewis appeared in seven games, adding two more tackles to the line he earned against Houston. Lewis had three tackles in the playoffs, appearing on 11 defensive snaps (all in the blowout win over New England) and 19 special teams snaps.
Positional outlook: Lewis is, for all intents and purposes, the backup to Taron Johnson in the slot. Siran Neal is more special teams player than corner or safety at this time, though he is the other player who would go in there should Johnson be injured. Lewis is a bit undersized to play outside, but he does have the toughness and athleticism to do so in a pinch. The other corners on the roster are Tre’Davious White, Kaiir Elam, Dane Jackson, Travon Fuller, Christian Benford, Olaijah Griffin, Tim Harris, Ja’Marcus Ingram, and Nick McCloud.
2022 Offseason: Lewis is healthy and he has participated in OTAs thus far.
2022 Season outlook: I’d rank Lewis as either CB6 or CB7, as the five names ahead of him are all pretty close to roster locks: White, Elam, Johnson, Jackson, and Neal. If the Bills keep a sixth CB, it will probably come down to Lewis and Benford, and there may be some thought given to which player the team feels is less likely to be poached off the practice squad. It’s also quite possible that both players find themselves on the outside looking in, as the Bills have gone with five corners multiple times in the past. Lewis is a good football player and a solid option in the slot. He just isn’t as good as Johnson, nor is he as valuable on special teams as is Neal. That puts him in a precarious spot when it comes to making the final roster. If White begins the season on the PUP list, then Lewis has a greater chance at making the opening day roster. He’s firmly “on the bubble” as training camp approaches.