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Buffalo Bills scoop up All-Pro special teams stud in NFL free agency

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Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills bolstered their special teams in a major way on Wednesday by adding a Pro Bowl-level return man to their unit for 2023.

This offseason will likely be a difficult one for the Buffalo Bills. The team that fell well short of their championship aspirations last season is cash-strapped and is likely to lose several key players in NFL free agency.

Talented linebacker Tremaine Edmunds has already taken his talents to Chicago, and the team is expected to lose Jordan Poyer on the open market as well. It means the team will likely have to make smaller moves in free agency to sure up weaknesses and bolster strengths.

Also Read: 2023 NFL offense rankings with NFL free agency underway

The Buffalo Bills’ return team was a solid unit in 2022, but general manager Brandon Beane made it much better on Wednesday. NFL Network league insider Ian Rapoport was one of the first to report that “former Saints WR/PR Deonte Harty is expected to sign a two-year, $13.5 million max deal with the Bills. … He gets a $9.5 million base and $5 million fully guaranteed.”

Buffalo Bills record (2022): 13-3, first-place in AFC East

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Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills were effective when it came to their kick returns last season, however, they weren’t as efficient in getting their talented offense even better field position on punt returns in 2022. They should likely change with Deonte Harty.

The Saints veteran earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors in his rookie season four years ago. Racking up 338 yards and a touchdown on 38 punt returns in 2019. While his numbers had a sharp decline the next three seasons due to injuries — he only played in seven games combined in 2020 and 2022 — he posted an outstanding 12.2 yards per return in his second season in the league.

However, his recent stats clearly did not have a major effect on the value the Buffalo Bills saw in him by giving the special teams ace $5 million guaranteed for the next two seasons.

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