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90 Buffalo Bills players in 90 days: S Dean Marlowe

Guess who’s back...back again

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

The Buffalo Bills have built tremendous depth in the defensive secondary. Thanks to injuries, that depth was tested quite a bit last season. But now that all of the regular players are healthy, it gives the Bills an added advantage thanks to those tests. Last year, the team’s depth players were unproven. This year, Buffalo has a better idea of what they have in their reserves, and those reserves also have more playing experience under their belt.

The safety group is one of the strongest on the roster, because the team has plenty of players who know the system. That could lead to a situation where someone with fairly extensive NFL experience is looking at a spot on the practice squad rather than the 53-man roster.

In today’s installment of “90 players in 90 days,” we profile the veteran I think makes the most sense as that practice squad player at safety.

Name: Dean Marlowe

Number: 31

Position: FS

Height/Weight: 6’1”, 205 pounds

Age: 30 (31 on 7/25/2023)

Experience/Draft: 7; signed with the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent following the 2015 NFL Draft

College: James Madison

Acquired: Re-signed with Bills on 5/22/2023

Financial situation (per Spotrac): Marlowe’s one-year contract is worth a total of $1,232,500 overall, of which $252,500 is guaranteed. Thanks to the veteran’s minimum exception, Marlowe carries a cap hit of $1,092,500 if he makes the 53-man roster, and Buffalo is on the hook for the entirety of his guarantee if they decide to release him.

2022 Recap: Marlowe began the 2022 season with the Atlanta Falcons. He appeared in eight games for the club, totaling 11 tackles on the year. At the trade deadline, Buffalo acquired Marlowe thanks to their need for safety depth — Micah Hyde was on Injured Reserve, and Jordan Poyer was dealing with an elbow injury, so Buffalo needed someone who knew the system. Marlowe fit the bill, but he ended up a healthy scratch for most of his time back with the Bills. He appeared in three regular-season games for Buffalo, notching three tackles. In the playoffs, Marlowe started alongside Jordan Poyer in both games. He totaled seven tackles and an interception in those two contests.

Positional outlook: Marlowe is one of seven safeties on the roster. He’s joined by Zayne Anderson, Damar Hamlin, Jared Mayden, Taylor Rapp, Hyde, and Poyer.

2023 Offseason: Marlowe is healthy and participating in offseason activities.

2023 Season outlook: Barring injury, Marlowe is likely on the outside looking in this season, as the top four safeties are probably Hyde, Poyer, Rapp, and Hamlin. Given that three of four players in that list have dealt with significant injury issues over the last year, though, it’s quite possible that Marlowe is given a good look this summer. Buffalo knows what they have in the veteran safety, and he knows that he has a place here if he can’t find a gig elsewhere. Marlowe could also stick around on the practice squad, which I think is his ceiling with the team this season.