Jordan Poyer has been a standout player defensively for the Buffalo Bills since signing with the team in March of 2017. Poyer, who was added to the roster before even the hiring of general manager Brandon Beane, has become a cornerstone for a defense that has been elite every year since his arrival.
Poyer signed a two-year extension worth a reported $19.5 million in March of 2020. That deal is over after a disappointing end to the 2022 season for the Bills, and Poyer is expected to hit free agency. According to Cover 1’s contract and salary cap expert Greg Tompsett, Poyer’s contract should be in the ballpark of two years, $25 million, or a little below that number.
On Tuesday’s edition of the Cover 1 Film Room, Erik Turner and Anthony Prohaska went in depth about Poyer’s importance to the defense.
Prohaska talked about Poyer and his successful career in Buffalo.
“Dude is an All-Pro safety, and one of the best safeties in the league,” he said. “Even this year with a mangled elbow, an injury he shouldn’t have been playing with, of the 92 safeties who saw at least 10 targets this year, he was tied for the 21st lowest EPA per target. He had the 19th-lowest rating against. Even with injuries, he was still top 20 in advanced metrics for safeties.”
Prohaska continued the Poyer conversation with how special he was in 2021 when he was healthy and available for the whole year.
“We saw a progression each year, starting in 2019, then 2020, and lastly 2021,” he said. “His 2021 was unreal for safeties. So, for 2021 again, amongst safeties who saw at least 10 targets that year, he had the lowest EPA per target. In 2021, he had the second-lowest total EPA. He was first in points saved which is an SIS metric. He was seventh in points saved per play. He had the lowest QBR in 2021 at 7.6. The second lowest was 18.4. He was also tied for lowest YPC snap. He had the second lowest yards per attempt when targeted at 3.3, and he had the fourth lowest completion percentage allowed at 37.5%.”
From an advanced metric standpoint and what you got from Poyer on the film and on the field every week, he has been such an important piece to this defense. He has been a leader for this team since he arrived, so if the Bills aren’t able to give him the contract he wants or deserves, it looks like the Bills will be moving on from one of their best and most important players in the Sean McDermott tenure in Buffalo.
Bills’ Top 10 Important Players from the 2022 Season: #3 Jordan Poyer
Another guy that is in need of a contract is star middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. He’s only 24 years old and has been with the team since the 2018 season. The Bills picked up his fifth-year option last season, and Edmunds did not disappoint, taking every advantage of his opportunity. Edmunds’ height (6-foot-5), speed, and length in the middle of the field allow him to do things that most MLBs aren’t able to do.
Turner and Prohaska went in depth about the importance of Edmunds in the Film Room as well. Turner talked about Edmunds and his advanced metrics this season.
“Tremaine Edmunds was very much the same way Poyer was, but a lot younger than him,” Turner said. “Edmunds was number three in EPA per target. Number one was Milano, so he is number three in EPA per target, according to SIS. He was number two in QBR against, just behind Fred Warner. He was number four in yards per attempt against at 3.9. According to PFF, he was number one in pass breakups with ten.”
Turner talked about the development of Edmunds in the last few years.
“Overall, it’s been a relatively slow burn and overall a slow development, but when you consider the age thing, that obviously plays a part when you’re talking about mental capabilities. And the responsibilities that this staff put on Tremaine. We talk about Poyer being the eyes and ears on the back and being a coach on the field. When we talked about the checks and audibles and setting the defense, that actually started with Tremaine Edmunds,” Turner said.
Edmunds is still young and proved to his teammates that he can play the MLB position at an elite level. If the Bills aren’t able to bring Edmunds back, it will be tough to find an MLB that can do as much as Edmunds can do due to his length and ability to defend the pass and run at a high level. He is still only 24 years old and is still ascending into the prime of his career.