Sep 12, 2015; Morgantown, WV, USA; Liberty Flames quarterback Josh Woodrum (6) passes the ball against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the first quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Buffalo Bills announced the signing of six players to reserve/future contracts as they prepare for the offseason.
With the Buffalo Bills‘ season now complete, the team and the fans have fully transitioned into offseason mode. After a disappointing season that ended 7-9, the whole organization has their backs against the wall.
There’s no doubt this will be a very important offseason that will dictate how this team performs moving forward.
With that being said, Buffalo has already announced a couple of signings to future contracts. Doing so, the players won’t be taking up any space on the roster for the rest of the NFL season. Some of the names may be familiar, while others might be new.
They will all have a chance to crack the active roster next season and contribute to what will hopefully be the end of a long playoff drought.
Let’s go through all six of the signings and give an intro about the players.
CB Charles Gaines
Born in Miami, Gaines was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He played college ball at Louisville. In his rookie season, he played in six games and started four of them. He finished with 15 tackles, 2 passes defended and a forced fumble.
The 24-year-old joined the Bills as a member of the practice squad on December 7, 2015 — before the Buffalo Bills hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers. He could potentially add some needed depth at the CB position, especially noting that Stephon Gilmore might not suit up for Buffalo next season.
LB Max Valles
Valles is a linebacker that spent the entire season on the Bills’ practice squad. Another 6th round draft pick, Valles was selected in 2015 by the Oakland Raiders. He stands 6’4” and weighs 250 pounds, making him a scary linebacker.
Max Valles showed a lot of potential in his two seasons at Virginia. In 22 games and 16 starts, Valles totaled 78 tackles, 13 sacks, one interception, 12 passes defended, four forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries. His do-it-all mentality is definitely eye-opening.
QB Josh Woodrum
Could this be our franchise quarterback? Before you go crazy, that was a joke, but it would be pretty cool to find a diamond in the rough like this. Woodrum had quite the college career at Liberty, finishing as the school’s all-time leader in passing yards (10,266 yards) and total offensive yards (10,690 yards).
At 6’3”, 231 pounds, Woodrum has a good frame for a quarterback and his talent is unprecedented. However, he needs a lot of work and could be a good QB to have on the depth chart — just in case. He was signed by the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent and most recently spent time on the Chicago Bears’ practice squad.
You might remember Ferguson from last year’s offseason, when the Buffalo Bills signed him as an undrafted free agent. He’s a very reliable long snapper and is someone to keep around in case we need him. With Garrison Sanborn even more reliable and being one of the highest paid long snappers in the NFL, chances are we don’t see Ferguson on gamedays.
Ferguson spent his four years in college at LSU and was the team’s long snapper every year. His 497 total snaps in his college career came on both punts and field goals. He only recorded one bad snap in his time with the Tigers, which came in his freshman year. I wouldn’t mind keeping him around.
S Joe Powell
There’s no doubt the safety position is one of the Buffalo Bills‘ biggest needs this offseason. With that being said, Joe Powell has as good a chance as anyone on this list to make it to the team’s active roster next season.
Powell has quite the experience as well, although none in the NFL. He spent one year in the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) and was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year with 11 interceptions and also spent a season playing Arena Football before signing with the New York Giants in 2016. Powell was waived a couple weeks later and joined Buffalo in late October.
RB Cedric O’Neal
O’Neal, much like Woodrum, had quite the college career and left with some broken school records. A product of Valdosta State, O’Neal totaled 4,115 yards and 49 touchdowns rushing in his 48 college games. Both of those stats are school records.