Jamison Crowder came to the Buffalo Bills last offseason with the hope of filling a void in the slot and a veteran presence in the locker room, but after a disappointing season cut short after just four games he is now on to the next destination.
The veteran receiver, who appeared in only four games last season before breaking his ankle and being placed on injured reserve, has signed with the New York Giants in free agency. The Giants announced the move on March 23, noting that he has a collegiate connection to the Giants and an existing connection to their city.
“Crowder, who will turn 30 in June, was a 2015 fourth-round draft choice by Washington, from Duke, Daniel Jones’ alma mater,” the team noted. “He played four seasons there and three with the Jets before joining Buffalo last year.”
Jamison Crowder’s Disappointing Season in Buffalo
Crowder joined the Bills last offseason after a successful three-year stretch with the New York Jets in which he made 188 catches for 1,979 yards with 14 touchdowns. He appeared to be a strong candidate to replace the outgoing Cole Beasley as the team’s primary slot receiver, but Isaiah McKenzie ended up winning the job in the preseason.
Crowder appeared in four games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in the team’s win over the Baltimore Ravens. He made six catches for 60 yards, while also returning nine punts for an 11.1-yard average.
Prior to the injury, there had been some high hopes for what Crowder might be able to accomplish catching passes from quarterback Josh Allen. Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports identified Crowder as a potential breakout candidate, noting that he had the ability to replicate the success Beasley found out of the slot.
“That new underneath option now happens to be Crowder, and everything about his signing in Buffalo has legitimate Beasley feels,” Trapasso wrote.
The veteran receiver did have a chance to come back at the end of Buffalo’s season, as he returned to practice on January 11 and may have been ready to play had the Bills advanced to the AFC Championship game.
Jamison Crowder’s New Role in New York
As the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz noted, Crowder is expected to fill a depth role in New York.
“Building depth at the position is a goal for general manager Joe Schoen,” he wrote. “Thus far this offseason, he re-signed Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins and Sterling Shepard, signed Parris Campbell from the Colts and Jeff Smith from the Jets.”
Hodgins, another former member of the Bills, made a big impact in a short time frame last season. He joined the Giants after being released by the Bills with the hope of returning to Buffalo’s practice squad, and went on to make 33 catches for 351 yards and four touchdowns in eight games. Hodgins added another nine catches for 108 yards with one touchdown in the team’s two playoff games.
Hodgins told GoLong’s Tyler Dunne that after two seasons in Buffalo cut short by injuries, he wanted to make the most of his opportunity.
“It sounds crazy because that’s a lot of pressure,” he told Dunne. “But that’s the reality. Sometimes, you might only get one or two opportunities. If you blow it, you might not ever be thought of again. If you succeed, they’re like, ‘Let’s give him another opportunity. And another.’ You keep taking and taking it, and that’s how you run away with stuff.”