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90 Buffalo Bills players in 90 days: K Tyler Bass

A small-school find with a big leg

NFL: Buffalo Bills Minicamp Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills have a top-end special teams unit. That’s due in part to the coaching staff’s focus on ensuring that the “third unit” is stocked with talented players. Whether it’s covering kickoffs or punts, returning those kickoffs or punts, or merely executing kicks, the Bills have players on the roster who are all among the best at their job in the league.

In today’s installment of our “90 players in 90 days” series, we profile one of the more high-visibility players on the special teams: the kicker. We’ve come a long way from the days where coaches (I’m thinking of Bill Parcells here, who famously wondered whether his kicker could kick, not play) looked upon their kickers with scorn. In Buffalo, they now have one of the better kickers in the league.

Name: Tyler Bass

Number: 2

Position: K

Height/Weight: 5’10”, 183 pounds

Age: 26 (27 on 2/14/2024)

Experience/Draft: 4; selected by Buffalo in the sixth round (No. 188 overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft

College: Georgia Southern

Acquired: Sixth-round draft choice

Financial situation (per Spotrac): Bass is signed through the 2027 season, though he’s technically still on the final year of his rookie contract. Bass’ four-year, $20.4 million extension, which he signed in April, doesn’t fully kick in until next season. For this year, he carries a cap hit of $2,076,056. His dead-cap number if the Bills choose to release or trade him is $9,456,056, which is a combination of the remaining guarantees on his rookie deal and the future guarantees on his contract extension.

2022 Recap: Bass solidified his status as one of the NFL’s top kickers, hitting on 27 of his 31 field goal attempts. His long was a 56-yard boot against the Cleveland Browns, a kick which he made as a member of the home team in a game played at Ford Field in Detroit. His 87.1 made field goal percentage was good for 11th in the league, which is no small feat given the degree of difficulty kicking in the ever-changing wind conditions at Highmark Stadium for nearly half of his games. The Bills often choose to use Bass’ strong leg on kickoffs to hang the ball high in the air and land it inside the five-yard line rather than go for touchbacks, a strategy that allows Buffalo’s top-notch kick coverage unit to shine. The Bills ranked fifth overall in Rick Gosselin’s annual special teams rankings with great help from Bass.

Positional outlook: Bass is the only kicker the Bills have in camp.

2023 Offseason: Bass is healthy and he has continued on as the lone kicker in camp. He hit a 40-yard field goal and missed an extra point in Buffalo’s preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts.

2023 Season outlook: Bass is the guy for the foreseeable future, and after unseating popular and steady veteran Stephen Hauschka, he’s been the man here since he was a rookie in 2020. Bass’ cap hit is higher than it would have been under the terms of his rookie contract, but it’s also just No. 19 among kickers. Projecting further into the deal, Bass’ cap hit next season, which is $4.42 million, is No. 10. While that seems to be a lot for “just a kicker,” it’s nice to have a player at that position who is a threat to score from the moment the Bills pass the 50-yard line. Everyone wants to cheap out on a kicker until they really need one, and Buffalo has wisely invested in a young, talented player at the position. Bass is the man of both the present and the future at kicker for Buffalo.