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Bills sign safety Jared Mayden, release cornerback Xavier Rhodes

The Bills added some depth at safety on Wednesday

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills signed safety Jared Mayden to their active roster on Wednesday, acquiring the third-year player via the New York Jets’ practice squad. To make room on their roster for Mayden, Buffalo released veteran cornerback Xavier Rhodes.

Mayden, 24, entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2020. He played collegiately at Alabama, where he had four interceptions, three pass breakups, and 59 tackles as a senior. He signed with the San Francisco 49ers after the 2020 NFL Draft, and signed with the team’s practice squad before the regular season. He appeared in two games for the 49ers that season, logging 24 special teams snaps and one tackle across two games.

He remained with San Francisco as a practice squad member through October of 2021, when he was released and subsequently signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. He appeared in four games with the Eagles last season, playing primarily on special teams. He totaled six tackles in those games. After starting this season in Philly, he was waived with an injury designation in August, and then placed on injured reserve. Philadelphia released him from IR on September 20.

In October, he signed to Buffalo’s practice squad, where he remained through November 3. Buffalo released him on that date, and he signed to the Jets’ practice squad on November 5. He has not appeared in a game this season.

Rhodes, 32, appeared in two games with the Bills this season, totaling four tackles without a pass break-up. He started in Buffalo’s 24-10 win over the New England Patriots, appearing on 87% of the team’s defensive snaps in the victory.

With Jordan Poyer dealing with a knee issue that’s reportedly a lateral meniscus tear, Micah Hyde already on IR after having neck surgery earlier this year, and Damar Hamlin fighting for his life following a tragic cardiac arrest on Monday night, Buffalo needed to add depth at safety. The team also has Jaquan Johnson and Dean Marlowe on the roster listed at safety, with cornerback Cam Lewis another option at the position. Releasing Rhodes could also signal that cornerback Christian Benford, who’s been on IR with an oblique injury, is close to returning.