Bills Free Agent Profile: RB Devin Singletary


Welcome to the third article in our series on the Buffalo Bills’ pending free agents. I will go through the Bills’ current crop of free agents and give the arguments for re-signing them or letting them walk.

Devin Singletary

Age: 25 (26 at the start of 2023)

Years: 4

Last contract: Rookie Contract

Last Season

The Bills have brought in running backs to compete with Devin Singletary since he got to Buffalo. From Frank Gore to Zack Moss, TJ Yeldon, James Cook, and Nyheim Hines, the Bills haven’t been unable to keep Singletary off the field. In 2022, Singletary put up his second straight 1,000 yards from scrimmage season, with 819 coming on the ground and 280 coming in the passing game, with six total touchdowns.

Case for Re-Signing 

The number one reason to bring back Singletary is he is a known quantity. If Singletary were to walk in free agency, the Bills would be left with a backfield that contains only Cook and Hines. Cook gave Bills fans a lot of reasons to be excited going into 2023, but he wasn’t even the workhorse back in Georgia, and asking him to be as efficient as he was as a rookie is a tall task. On the other hand, Hines never found his footing with the Bills’ offense after arriving at the 2022 trade deadline. He carries a $4 million dollar cap hit, which carries no dead money should he be cut.

A Bills offense without Singletary would also be missing the ability to make tacklers miss. Singletary was by far the Bills’ best running back, forcing 36 missed tackles, good for 20th out of 66 qualifying running backs. Finally, in a league where the best ability is availability, Singletary has not missed a single game since returning from his hamstring injury in his rookie year. In that time span, Singletary has been efficient, finishing above 4.5 yards per carry in three of his four seasons and finishing 17th out of 66 running backs in positive run rate (min 50 carries) in 2022.

Bills Promote vs. Pay: James Cook & Nyheim Hines vs. The Field

Case for letting him walk

The current paradigm regarding running backs is that paying them sizeable second contracts is irresponsible. The emergence of Cook over the second half of 2022 was enough to justify the Bills leaning on him in 2023. The rookie running back was first in breakaway run rate (a stat that measures runs over 15 yards) and finished fifth in yards per attempt among running backs who got at least 20% of their team’s carries. Singletary finished 20th and 25th in the same two categories. Additionally, Singletary has racked up eight fumbles over the last two seasons, tied for second and 10th in those two years. Finally, the Bills can justify keeping Hines over Singletary due to his ability to return punts and kicks. Singletary has also struggled to catch on a receiving back, dropping four passes in each of the last two seasons.  

How to Guarantee You’re Disappointed this Offseason

Bottom Line

Singletary is the first Bills running back to come up for a second contract under Brandon Beane, so it is impossible to gauge whether the Bills believe in paying running backs large contracts. We know that the Bills have spent day two picks on running backs three times under Beane. This would seem to signal a desire to keep the running back as young and cheap as possible. If the Bills don’t feel comfortable with a Cook-Hines backfield in 2023, do they feel comfortable dipping back into the draft for the fourth time in five years? It is also possible Devin Singletary doesn’t command a large contract due to the saturation of the running back market with players like Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, and Jamaal Williams set to be available. That said, with the Bills’ tight cap situation, don’t expect the Bills to re-up with Singletary.  


Teacher by day and runner by day. Cover 1 Writer by night.