After years of struggling to find consistent production from their running backs, the Buffalo Bills are determined to get bigger — and better — for 2023.
One insider believes that could lead the Bills to consider former Tampa Bay Buccaneers back Leonard Fournette, who recently hit the open market after being released. The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia noted that the Bills currently have just two running backs on the roster, James Cook and Nyheim Hines, and neither has much of a resume in the NFL. With the Bills expected to make another addition to the running back room this offseason, Buscaglia pegged Fournette as a potential candidate.
Bills Want to Get Bigger at Running Back
Bills general manager Brandon Beane laid out some of the team’s plans at running back, revealing this week that they want to add a bigger and stronger ballcarrier to the roster. Cook stands 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, while Hines is listed at 5-foot-9 and 198 pounds.
“You’re really talking about right now just a couple of backs on the roster,” Beane said, via the Buffalo News. “So we’ll continue to add there and look for different skill sets that you’re alluding to. I hear what you’re getting at. We’ll monitor that. Totally aware what we’ve got a couple of guys that are around 200 (pounds). Yeah, we’ll probably add somebody that’s a little heavier than that at some point between now and training camp.”
Buscaglia believes that Beane’s commitment to getting bigger means running back Devin Singletary is not a strong candidate to re-sign with the team, though there are some veteran free agents who could fit the bill.
“There are some interesting unsigned free agents with that profile like Leonard Fournette, Ezekiel Elliott and Damien Harris,” Buscaglia wrote. “Beane’s words about adding a heavier back were not a great vote of confidence for a potential re-signing of the 203-pound Devin Singletary, especially considering Beane sidestepped a question about Singletary just a few seconds before.”
Changes Coming for Bills
If Buscaglia is correct, the Bills will be losing their most effective running back over the past four seasons with Singletary’s departure. Singletary rushed for 819 yards with five touchdowns last season, though saw Cook take an increasingly large share of carries as the season went on.
Some believe the Bills will look to make a more significant upgrade at running back, naming Derrick Henry as a potential trade target. Others believe they could invest a high draft pick in a new running back. In a recent mock draft, ESPN’s Todd McShay predicted that the Bills would select Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs with the No. 27 overall pick.
Beane has said he wouldn’t be averse to using the team’s top draft pick on a running back, even though that runs counter to conventional drafting trends.
“I think you build your board with knowing the position values as well, but it doesn’t mean because it’s a lower value position,” Beane said at the NFL scouting combine, via the Buffalo News. “People always ask about running back: Yes, you can still take a running back in the first round.”