Dec 17, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Chase Claypool (83) celebrates after defeating the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Bills sign Chase Claypool, Deion Jones, Dawuane Smoot

The Buffalo Bills signed wide receiver Chase Claypool and two others to one-year deals, the team announced Friday.

Claypool, 25, most recently played for the Miami Dolphins, his third team in the past two seasons. He played nine games for the Dolphins, catching four passes, after a trade in October from the Chicago Bears. He had spent just under a year with the Bears, coming from the Pittsburgh Steelers in a November 2022 trade.

Claypool started his career with the Steelers, who selected the former Notre Dame standout in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

He has 175 catches for 2,261 yards and 13 touchdowns in 58 games (32 starts) with the Steelers, Bears and Dolphins.

The Bills also announced one-year deals with linebacker Deion Jones and defensive end Dawuane Smoot.

Jones, 29, played his first six seasons with the Falcons and topped 100 tackles in five of them, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2017. A second-round pick by Atlanta in 2016, Jones has 731 tackles, 12 sacks and 13 interceptions in 109 games (91 starts).

He played for the Cleveland Browns in 2022 and Carolina Panthers in 2023.

Smoot, 29, was a 2017 third-round draft pick by the Jaguars and has 23.5 sacks, 64 QB hits and five forced fumbles in 99 career games (17 starts), all with Jacksonville

–Field Level Media

Jan 21, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive end Greg Rousseau (50) against the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2024 AFC divisional round game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Bills picking up option on DE Greg Rousseau

The Buffalo Bills are picking up the fifth-year option on defensive end Greg Rousseau, Fox Sports reported Monday.

NFL teams have until Thursday to exercise the 2025 options on their 2021 first-round draft picks.

Rousseau, the 30th overall selection in 2021, will earn a fully guaranteed salary of $13.387 million in 2025.

Rousseau, 24, registered five sacks, 18 quarterback hits and 42 tackles while starting 16 games last season.

His career totals include 17 sacks, 42 QB hits, 129 tackles and three forced fumbles in 46 games (all starts).

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Quintez Cephus (87) get in position for a kickoff against Philadelphia Eagles during the first half at Ford Field.

Nfl Philadelphia Eagles At Detroit Lions

Bills sign reinstated WR Quintez Cephus

The Buffalo Bills signed wide receiver Quintez Cephus, recently reinstated from a gambling suspension.

Agents for the former Detroit Lions wideout announced the transaction Sunday. Terms were not disclosed.

“Thank you God,” Cephus posted on X, along with the hashtag BillsMafia.

Cephus, 26, was a fifth-round pick by Detroit in 2020 and caught 37 passes for 568 yards and four touchdowns in 22 games (six starts) from 2020-22.

The Lions released Cephus in April 2023 following his indefinite suspension for violating the league’s gambling policy. The NFL reinstated Cephus and four other players from their gambling-related bans last week.

–Field Level Media

OT La'el Collins: Signed by Buffalo Bills (previous team: Cincinnati Bengals)

Reports: Bills sign veteran OT La’el Collins

The Buffalo Bills have signed veteran offensive tackle La’el Collins to a one-year contract, multiple media outlets reported Thursday.

Collins, 30, did not play in a game last season, spending 20 days on the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad in January during their run to the playoffs.

He began his NFL career with the Cowboys, starting 71 of 74 games from 2015-21 but missing all of the 2020 season due to injury. The NFL suspended him for five weeks in September 2021 for violating the substance abuse policy, and Dallas released him in March 2022.

The Cincinnati Bengals signed him that month to a three-year contract. He started all 15 games in 2022, but ACL and MCL tears derailed his season that December. The Bengals released him from the physically unable to perform list in September 2023.

–Field Level Media

Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23) runs with the ball against Kansas City Chiefs safety Mike Edwards (21) during overtime of Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Bills sign veteran S Mike Edwards

The Buffalo Bills signed safety Mike Edwards, a two-time Super Bowl champion, to a one-year contract, the team announced Wednesday.

Contract terms were not disclosed.

Edwards said joining the Bills was the right choice for his career.

“The culture, the coaching staff, they sold me very well,” Edwards said. “(It’s) safety-friendly. The two guys they had were phenomenal over the past seven years. So, I felt like I could come in and take on that role and try to get better and try to improve every week.”

Edwards, 27, played last season for the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, appearing in all 17 regular-season games and starting five. He totaled 51 tackles, one sack, five passes defensed, one interception and two fumble recoveries, including one returned for a touchdown. He made a season-high 11 tackles in a 20-17 loss to Buffalo on Dec. 10.

He started all four playoff games and collected 12 tackles and one interception. The Chiefs defeated the Bills 27-24 in the AFC Divisional Round but Edwards missed most of the game after sustaining a concussion in the first quarter.

Edwards won his other championship right in Super Bowl LV with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Edwards in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. In four seasons with the Bucs, Edwards made 184 tackles, two sacks, seven interceptions with three returned for scores, and 26 passes defensed.

The Bills have been a postseason regular but have been unable to get over the hump.

“You can pick up on some things that you can translate over to the next team and try to give a little insight on what it takes to win the Super Bowl,” Edwards shared. “What it takes to get over the hump, what it takes to win those games week in and week out. … I have all the confidence in the world that we can do that and get to the Super Bowl and finally make it happen.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 17, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Washington Commanders wide receiver Curtis Samuel (4) catches a touchdown pass in the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Curtis Samuel agrees to 3-year deal with Bills

Former Washington Commanders wide receiver Curtis Samuel agreed to a three-year deal with the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, according to multiple media reports.

The contract could be worth up to $30 million, including $15 million guaranteed. Samuel likely will fill the void created when wide receiver Gabe Davis left the Bills in free agency for the Jacksonville Jaguars on Wednesday. Samuel will team up with Buffalo star wideout Stefon Diggs.

Samuel, 27, played the past three seasons for the Washington Commanders. He had 62 receptions for 613 yards and four touchdowns in 16 games last season and is a threat in the running game, rushing for seven touchdowns in his career.

A second-round pick (40th overall) by the Carolina Panthers in the 2017 draft, Samuel spent his first four seasons with Carolina before signing a three-year deal with Washington after the 2020 season.

Samuel has 317 receptions for 3,383 yards and 22 touchdowns in his 91-game career. He also has 715 rushing yards on 121 carries.

–Field Level Media

Dec 16, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) draws back to pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Grace Hollars-USA TODAY Sports

Report: QB Mitch Trubisky heading back to Bills

The Bills have agreed to a deal to bring quarterback Mitch Trubisky back to Buffalo, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

The former No. 2 overall pick mutually agreed to part ways with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Feb. 12, with two years left on a three-year, $19.4 million contract.

Now he’s reportedly heading to Buffalo to reprise the role of Josh Allen’s backup. Trubisky, 29, spent the 2021 season in Buffalo seeing limited action in support of Allen, going 6 of 8 for 43 yards and rushing for 24 yards and a touchdown over six games (no starts).

Trubisky joined the Steelers as a free agent in 2022, the same year Pittsburgh selected quarterback Kenny Pickett in the first round of the draft. Trubisky began that season as the starting quarterback but soon gave way to Pickett.

While Pickett dealt with injury and regression in 2023, Trubisky made two starts before the Steelers eventually turned to Mason Rudolph, who helped guide the team to a wild-card berth.

In 12 games (seven starts) for Pittsburgh, Trubisky completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 1,884 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He added four rushing touchdowns.

Since entering the league with the Chicago Bears in 2017, Trubisky has amassed 12,536 passing yards, 72 touchdowns and 48 picks across 69 games (57 starts) with the Bears (2017-20), Bills (2021) and Steelers. He is 31-26 all-time as a starter.

–Field Level Media

Bills cornerback Dane Jackson (30) eyes in the ball as he is hit by linebackers coach Bobby Babich during interception drills on day nine of Buffalo Bills training camp at St. John Fisher University in Rochester Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022.

Sd 080422 Bills Camp 1 Spts

Bills promote linebackers coach Bobby Babich to DC

The Buffalo Bills promoted linebackers coach Bobby Babich to defensive coordinator on Tuesday.

Head coach Sean McDermott was the defensive play-caller last season.

Babich, 40, joined the Buffalo staff in 2017, when his father, Bob Babich, was linebackers coach and held the position until 2021. Bobby Babich served as assistant defensive backs coach the first season, then safeties coach for the next four years.

The younger Babich took over as linebackers coach for the 2022 season, replacing his father.

Bobby Babich had interview requests for defensive coordinator positions with the New York Giants, Green Bay Packers and Miami Dolphins. The Bills interviewed former Philadelphia Eagles DC Sean Desai for the same post, according to multiple reports.

Previous to working for the Bills, Babich served as an assistant defensive coach for the Cleveland Browns (2013-15) and Carolina Panthers (2012), following one season as a Panthers administrative assistant (2011).

His college coaching career includes stints with Florida International (2016), Eastern Illinois (2007-10) and Kent State (2006).

Babich played cornerback for his father at North Dakota State.

–Field Level Media

Dec 23, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA;  Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws a pass while Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Khalil Mack (52) pressuring him during the fourth quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Bills close on clinching clinching playoff spot while Patriots face questions

Back in early September, the Buffalo Bills appeared to have the makings of a team that would be contending for the No. 1 seed in the AFC by the time the penultimate week of the regular season rolled around.

But Buffalo has come up short of its lofty expectations on the heels of four consecutive trips to the postseason, with a fifth still not yet guaranteed.

Although they have won four of their past five games, the Bills are still very much in the thick of the playoff race heading into a Week 17 meeting with the New England Patriots on Sunday in Orchard Park, N.Y.

Even though the top spot in the AFC is unattainable at this point, Buffalo (9-6) can secure a postseason berth as early as this week.

The Bills head into Sunday’s game with 14 clinching scenarios, all requiring a win or tie. Buffalo would then need help from at least two other teams in each scenario.

While it might be easy to get caught up in the playoff picture, Bills coach Sean McDermott’s only focus is on New England (4-11), which beat Buffalo 29-25 on Oct. 22.

“I think you learn a lot going through any game, let alone in this case a loss like it was several weeks ago,” McDermott said. “They’re a good football team. … The NFL is up for grabs every week. Records do not matter.”

In a season that has featured plenty of lows, the Patriots have found a bit of a rhythm, winning two of their past three games in response to a five-game skid.

New England most recently edged the Denver Broncos 26-23 last Sunday thanks to Chad Ryland’s go-ahead 56-yard field goal with 2 seconds left in regulation.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick realizes the Bills have just as much momentum — if not more — following their 24-22 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Dec. 23.

“Games they’ve won, they’ve made some critical plays in all three phases of the game — offense, defense, special teams — to win,” Belichick said of the Bills. “So, that’s the mark of a good team.

“Three weeks ago, everybody was talking about how much trouble they were in, then they come out and rip off three straight wins. So, here we are.”

While Buffalo continues its playoff push, New England is trying to prevent itself from jumping the gun on the 2024 campaign.

The Patriots appear to be on the brink of a drastic rebuild, with Boston Sports Journal reporting Tuesday that Belichick has expressed doubts about his future with the franchise.

There’s also the question of who New England’s starting quarterback will be at this time next year. Bailey Zappe has played well after taking over under center for Mac Jones, but the Patriots are also in line for a high draft pick that could yield a franchise signal-caller.

“Right now, I’m just trying to be where my feet are and focus on the Bills,” Zappe said. “I’m sure those conversations and things like that will happen in the offseason or after the Jets game (on Jan. 7), and I’ll talk about that then.”

Offensive tackle Trent Brown (illness), cornerback Jalen Mills (concussion) and safety Jabrill Peppers (hamstring) missed New England’s practice on Wednesday. Tight end Hunter Henry (knee) was among nine Patriots who were limited.

Buffalo defensive end Leonard Floyd missed Wednesday’s practice due to wrist and rib injuries. Safety Micah Hyde (neck) was among those limited.

–Field Level Media