The Buffalo Bills retained another key member of their receiving attack before the start of free agency after tight end Scott Chandler agreed to a two-year contract on Thursday.
The Bills announced the deal had been reached, while Chandler’s agent, Rick E. Smith, provided the length of the contract in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
Chandler announced the deal himself on his Twitter account earlier in the day.
”Reunited and it feels so good!!! Blessed to be back with the Bills!” Chandler wrote. ”Nowhere else I want to be!”
The deal comes before Chandler was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next week, and was reached after the Bills re-signed leading receiver Stevie Johnson to a five-year contract on Monday.
With six touchdowns, Chandler and Johnson combined for 13 scores in helping the Ryan Fitzpatrick-led offense make strides in finishing 13th in the NFL in yards passing. That was a major step for an offense that had finished 22nd or worse in each of the previous eight seasons.
Claimed by the Bills off of waivers in December 2010, Chandler enjoyed a breakthrough season with 38 catches for 389 yards in 14 games. His six touchdowns – four of them coming in Buffalo’s first three games – tied a single-season franchise record for tight ends shared by Pete Metzelaars in 1992, and Jay Riemersma in 1998.
At 6-foot-7, Chandler presented a big target in the red zone in helping Buffalo get off to a surprising 5-2 start before the team unraveled in part due to a rash of injuries and closed the year losing eight of its final nine games. Chandler was hampered by an ankle injury, which forced him to miss two games in December.
Chandler’s deal was welcomed by several Bills teammates, including Johnson, running back Fred Jackson and safety George Wilson, who congratulated him on Twitter.
General manager Buddy Nix and Metzelaars, who takes over as the Bills tight ends coach, both expressed a desire to re-sign Chandler over the past two months.
Selected by San Diego in the fourth round of the 2007 draft out of Iowa, Chandler had difficulty finding his niche in the NFL. He appeared in only one game over two seasons with the Chargers, where he was stuck playing behind star Antonio Gates.
He then split the next two years between the New York Giants and Dallas, before the Cowboys waived him during the 2010 season.