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90 Buffalo Bills players in 90 days: FB Reggie Gilliam

The fullback/special teamer is a fun player to root for

New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills are one of nine NFL teams set to have a fullback on the roster who counts at least $2 million towards the 2023 salary cap. Just three years ago, there were only three teams in the league who allocated that kind of cap towards the position, so we may be seeing a renaissance of the fullback in the modern game.

Of course, that last bit could also be a slight exaggeration, as the fullback position is still one that most teams use infrequently. However, those players who do the grunt work of clearing the way for others to earn glory shouldn’t go unnoticed.

In today’s installment of “90 players in 90 days,” we focus on the lone fullback on Buffalo’s roster — a core special teams player with a great nickname.

Name: Reggie Gilliam

Number: 41

Position: FB

Height/Weight: 6’, 244 pounds

Age: 25 (26 on 8/20/2023)

Experience/Draft: 4; signed with Bills as UDFA following the 2020 NFL Draft

College: Toledo

Acquired: UDFA signing

Financial situation (per Spotrac): The two-year contract extension Gilliam signed last August kicks in this season. The extension is worth a total of $4.6 million over the next two seasons. For 2023, Gilliam carries a cap hit of $2,028,333 and a dead-cap charge of $666,667 if he’s released.

2022 Recap: Gilliam set career-highs in offensive snaps (176), targets (10), receptions (8), and receiving yards (69) last season, and he tied his career-high in receiving touchdowns by catching one. He didn’t have a rushing attempt this past season. On special teams, he accounted for three tackles, which also tied a career-high. He was fourth in special teams snaps overall on the roster, trailing only Siran Neal, Tyler Matakevich, and Taiwan Jones.

Positional outlook: Gilliam is the lone fullback on the roster. He joins running backs James Cook, Damien Harris, Latavius Murray, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Mims, and Isaiah Bowser in the offensive backfield.

2023 Offseason: Gilliam is healthy and participating in offseason activities to date.

2023 Season outlook: Sledge is going to be on the roster. The question, at least for me, is whether the addition of first-round draft pick Dalton Kincaid will lead to a sharp reduction in Gilliam’s usage on offense. Or, will it lead to the Bills using some sort of jumbo package? Either way, Gilliam’s main use is as a special teams player, and any value he adds on offense is icing on the proverbial cake. Gilliam has lived the NFL version of a rags-to-riches story, entering the league as an undrafted free agent and earning a second contract with that team. That alone makes him an easy guy to root for, and when you factor in his high character, it makes it that much easier.