Free agency kicks off on the 15th of March, which means in the next two weeks you will see a lot of predictions of landing spots for star players, rumors, and "fan wishlists" as to who they want to come to their team.
The Buffalo Bills have several key guys heading into free agency this off-season. Tremaine Edmunds, Shaq Lawson, and Devin Singletary (who wouldn't be a bad pickup if Mixon ends up getting traded/cut) just to name a few. However, there is one name that Cincinnati Bengals fans might want to keep an eye on and put on their wishlist...
Bengals need to target this Bills free agent
Jordan Poyer has been a good and sometimes even great safety for the past few years in Buffalo. During his six years in a Bills uniform, the veteran safety has snatched 22 interceptions and has had 44 passes defended. He's been an iron man as well, having only missed six games in the regular season since coming to Buffalo, which is only one per year on average.
He also seems to be in his prime, as he was named a First-Team All-Pro in 2021 and made his first Pro Bowl appearance this year. He also finished this season with a PFF grade of 75.4, which puts him right around Jessie Bates' grade, only about a point under.
With all this taken into consideration, the Bengals should heavily consider signing the former Oregon State product with Bates likely moving on to another team, especially if the front office ends up not re-signing Bell (although I doubt that).
According to Spotrac, Poyer will also cost less to sign than Bates will, as he is projected to receive $11 million per year in comparison to Bates' projected $14 million per year, which naturally will save cap space to make bigger signings down the road.
One thing Poyer excels at is getting picks, snatching nine in the past two years, which is more than any player on the Bengals' defense. Turnovers are something people can definitively say the Bengals need to improve on when it comes to defense, as they finished in the bottom half of the league in team interceptions, per NFL.com.
Now, assuming Bell does get re-signed, you might be asking: what does signing Poyer mean for Dax Hill? While it's way too early to call the Hill draft pick a bad one (seriously, his rookie season just ended), the Bengals contending window is open and you never know when it could shut. Sitting back and having Hill out there while he's still very clearly in need of development might not be the best option right now, with a Super Bowl ring so close.
Plus, this signing doesn't mean Hill wouldn't play. He could be rotated in or come in at cornerback for some plays. Since the Bengals retained Lou Anarumo, I'm confident he can and will find a way to get him playing time even with this signing.
Now, one thing that might deter the front office from making this signing, aside from Dax Hill, is Poyer's age. He will be 32 by the time the 2023 season starts, so that may compel them to avoid signing the former Beaver-- or only signing him to a 1-2 year deal, which, if Poyer is looking for something more long-term, then that will be a problem.
However, I still think the front office should attempt to get Poyer in black and orange once free agency is underway, even if it means on a one-year deal. This defense has been key to the Bengals' success as a whole, and it's important they don't neglect it in favor of a flashy offense.