The Buffalo Bills remade the interior of their defensive line—again—this offseason. Gone are Star Lotulelei and Harrison Phillips, two staples of the defensive interior over the last few years. They’ve been replaced with free agents, both of whom hail from places where the Bills have plenty of connections.
One of the Bills’ new defensive tackles, DaQuan Jones, spent last season with the Carolina Panthers. The other free agent spent his career with the Washington Commanders, whose head coach, Ron Rivera, was Sean McDermott’s boss when they were both in Carolina. Buffalo is banking on the new blood at the position leading to greater success up front.
In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we discuss one of the Bills’ free agent acquisitions this offseason.
Name: Tim Settle
Height/Weight: 6’3” 313 lbs
Age: 25 (26 on 7/11/2023
Experience/Draft: 5; selected in the fifth round (No. 163 overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft by Washington
College: Virginia Tech
Acquired: Signed with Bills on 3/17/2022
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Settle’s free agent deal was for two years and $9 million overall. For the 2022 season, he carries a cap hit of $2.675 million and a dead-cap number of $5,085,000. Seven million dollars are guaranteed on the contract, with $5.085 million coming in the form of a signing bonus.
2021 Recap: Settle played all 16 games for Washington last year, but he appeared on only 20% of the team’s defensive snaps. That was his lowest snap share since his rookie year in 2018, where he played on only 13% of the team’s snaps. He managed to make 13 tackles, including four tackles for loss, in that limited time. Settle also recovered a fumble and was credited with one pressure on the year.
Positional outlook: Settle is one of four defensive tackles—DaQuan Jones, Ed Oliver, and Jordan Phillips are the other three—who will probably make the roster this year. Prince Emili, C.J. Brewer, Eli Ankou, and Brandin Bryant are the other four players at the position vying for space on the roster.
2022 Offseason: Settle was healthy for the offseason, but has missed the last two training camp practices with a sore groin that’s not expected to be serious.
2022 Season outlook: It’s really hard to evaluate a defensive tackle based on his stats, given the nature of the position. Often, when players behind you do well, it’s indicative of how you performed as a defensive tackle. Settle seems to be a little bit of a “tweener” in Buffalo’s defense, as he isn’t quite explosive enough to be a true three-tech and he isn’t quite big enough to be a one-tech. However, he is versatile enough to do both as a rotational piece. Given the amount of talent around him and not in front of him, Settle has the potential to perform much better in Buffalo’s defense than he did in Washington. He seems to be ridiculously excited to be in Buffalo, and he’s already familiar with the man who will play behind him, college teammate and middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. Settle’s likeability is through the roof, and his energy is infectious. The stats may not show it, but signing Settle could be another low-key great move by general manager Brandon Beane.