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Buffalo Bills bring back S Dean Marlowe, sign UDFA TE Joel Wilson

The Bills re-sign a veteran safety familiar with the defense, and add more competition at tight end

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills announced the return of free-agent safety Dean Marlowe, who signed a one year contract with the team this week. Marlowe, 30, returned to the Bills at last season’s trade deadline. At that time, Buffalo sent the Atlanta Falcons a seventh-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to seal the deal that brought Marlowe back to Orchard Park, NY.

Prior to his return via the Falcons, Marlowe played for the Detroit Lions after leaving the Bills during free agency at the conclusion of the 2020 NFL season. Marlowe’s first stint with Buffalo saw him in a backup role and as a special teams contributor for three seasons.

Marlowe’s return to the team last season had many believe he would play considerable snaps after a significant amount of injuries at safety (losing Hyde for the season and Poyer enduring multiple injuries). That never materialized for Marlowe, who started one game and made three tackles during the regular season. In the playoffs, Marlowe was next man up after Damar Hamlin’s injury. In two starts, Marlowe made seven tackles, defended one pass, and hauled in one interception.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 24 Central Michigan at Penn State Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In addition to Marlowe’s return, the team also signed undrafted free-agent tight end Joel Wilson. Wilson played collegiately for Central Michigan. The 6’3”, 242-pound tight end is lauded for his creativity and route-running savvy. A jack of all trades with a nose for the end zone, Wilson plays with a high motor while operating as a reliable safety outlet for the quarterback between the sticks.

The fifth-year senior compiled 82 receptions for 874 yards with 12 touchdowns during his career with the Chippewas. An ankle injury suffered last November ended his season prematurely, and kept Wilson from running speed drills ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft.

(Dean Marlowe’s stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference) (Joel Wilson’s stats courtesy of Sports Reference CFB)