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Buffalo Bills: 3 running back acquisitions for 2022 season

Andrew Buller-Russ

The Buffalo Bills have built up a strong roster ready to compete for a Super Bowl in the 2022-23 season, but one area that remains mostly unchanged is their running back room. Though it’s not for a lack of trying, the Bills did attempt to add J.D. McKissic via free agency, before the pass-catching back decided to return to the Washington Commanders for another run. They then added Duke Johnson to the backfield, but is that enough for a team hoping to surpass last season’s expectations?

We’ve already seen the desire to improve at the RB position, but is the front office satisfied by adding another veteran? It’s highly unlikely they’ll return the same rotation of Devin Singletary and Zack Moss to start the 2023 season, so where does that leave the Bills?

Which other running backs can help be a difference-maker in Buffalo next season? There are several potential options, but here are three players who we like to become the newest members of Bills Mafia.

Buffalo Bills select Breece Hall in first round of 2022 NFL Draft

NFL: Scouting Combine
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps looking to make a splash by adding more playmakers to their offense, the Buffalo Bills shouldn’t discount adding a running back at pick No. 25. It’s a late enough selection where the value is there, especially if they feel the RB can get on the field right away.

Breece Hall out of Iowa State is that man. Clocking a 4.39 40-yard dash, Hall is fast and at 5-foot-11, 217 pounds, he packs a punch too. Incredibly productive in college, scoring 50 rushing touchdowns, with 3,941 rushing yards, Hall could have a similar impact as Jonathan Taylor has had with the Colts. Many wonder how he slipped to the second round, well, the Bills prevent that scenario from playing out once again by adding the dynamic playmaker to their starting lineup in 2022.

Related: See who the Buffalo Bills take in Sportsnaut’s latest 2022 NFL Mock Draft

Trading for Tony Pollard

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

If the Dallas Cowboys had their choice, they’d likely move off from Ezekiel Elliott’s contract instead of trading Tony Pollard, but they have the former locked into a contract that practically prevents a trade this offseason. Unfortunately, Pollard is set for unrestricted free agency in 2023 and does Jerry Jones really want to commit long-term to two above-average RB’s going forward? Probably not.

Instead, a front office looking to make a splash could make America’s Team an offer they can’t refuse in an early attempt to secure Pollard’s services long-term. This is where the Bills could step up to the plate.

Sure, it’s rarely a bright idea to cough up compensation for a running back when decent production can be found in the later rounds, or by signing a bargain free agent as they attempted with J.D. McKissic, but Pollard might be a difference maker in Buffalo. Possessing a career 5.1 YPC average, Pollard also hauled in 39 receptions in 2021, filling a dual-threat role out of the backfield.

Pollard could immediately step in as the starter and may also cost a Day 2 selection, but with the Bills needing a player who can pick up big chunks of yardage, if the draft board doesn’t fall as they hope, swinging a deal for Pollard may be the next best move.

Related: Von Miller’s $120 mil Buffalo Bills contract is a classic smoke and mirrors NFL deal

Buffalo Bills land Saquon Barkley via trade

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

With the New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen coming from Buffalo, there’s already a warm relationship between these two front offices. Schoen knows just how badly the Bills need and want to improve at the running back position, taking some pressure off Josh Allen. Coach Sean McDermott recently spoke on the issue, noting he wants “Allen to evolve“.

One way to help the Bills’ offense take a stronger form is by landing a top RB in the backfield. Barkley, as he’s displayed in season’s past, when he won the Rookie of the Year award in 2018, has shown the ability to be the elite piece Bills Mafia could quickly get behind.

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The Bills may be able to offer the Giants their second-round pick, which falls at 57th overall, in addition to their fifth-round pick, or possibly a higher pick in 2023 as they look to sweeten the pot, hoping to entice the Giants just enough to move off from Barkley’s contract. At 25, years old, Barkley can make an immediate impact for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.

  • Saquon Barkley contract (2022): $7.21 cap hit

Related: 5 ideal offseason Saquon Barkley trade landing spots