Bills Starter Drops ‘Breaking News’ on Buffalo’s Latest Signing

The Buffalo Bills are working hard to rebuild their roster ahead of the 2024 NFL season. After the Bills abruptly cut multiple key veterans to get cap-compliant, there were a lot of holes to fill.

However, Buffalo did re-sign defensive tackle DaQuan Jones to a two-year, $16 million contract. The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia wrote of Jones, “Of all the re-signing options, Jones is easily the most important for next season. The defensive tackles room is bare without a starting option at one technique.”

After two weeks of free agency, the Bills still hadn’t signed another defensive tackle, which was concerning. But on Saturday, March 23, Jones was the first to announce that Buffalo found his backup in Austin Johnson, formerly of the Los Angeles Chargers.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport posted about 20 minutes later, “Sources confirm: Austin Johnson is signing a 1-year deal with Buffalo to play alongside former teammate DaQuan Jones. The deal is worth up to $4M.”

Johnson and Jones were teammates at Penn State in 2013. During the 2014 NFL draft, Jones was selected by the Tennessee Titans in the fourth round. Two years later, the Titans drafted Johnson in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft. They were reunited as teammates until Johnson signed with the New York Giants in 2020. Two years later, Johnson signed a two-year, $14 million contract with the Chargers.

Johnson confirmed he was heading to Buffalo on his Instagram Stories and gave Jones a shout-out. He reposted the news announcement and wrote, “And yes @dqj_90 is the best recruiter out” with two laugh-cry emojis.

While Buffalo missed out on signing Arik Armstead, Bills analysts were thrilled to learn the Johnson was heading to Orchard Park.

WGR 550’s Sal Capaccio posted, “DT was a huge concern for the Bills heading into the offseason. The only players they had under contract for 2024 were Ed Oliver and Eli Ankou. They’ve since re-signed DaQuan Jones and signed Austin Johnson. Still work to be done as far as numbers, but this looks so much better.”

Capaccio noted, “He can play NT or even DE in a 3-4, but is a DT in a 4-3. So he gives some versatility to kick outside if the Bills want to run an odd front.”

Built in Buffalo’s Kevin Siracuse posted, “The #Bills are beefing up their defensive line! Austin Johnson is the perfect backup for DaQuan Jones at 1-tech.”

Over the past two seasons, Johnson appeared in and started 25 games. He recorded 69 total tackles, 3 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 sack.

During the 6-foot-4 314-pounder’s two-year tenure with the Giants, he appeared in 33 games and made 17 starts. The 29-year-old registered 90 total tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 2 passes defensed, and 4.5 sacks.

After cutting Tre’Davious White, Siran Neal, and Jordan Poyer, the Bills said goodbye to Leonard Floyd. As for All-Pro safety Micah Hyde, he appears to still be mulling over retirement.

Among the flurry of changes, the Bills re-signed Taylor Rapp to a three-year, $10.6 million contract and added safety Mike Edwards from the Kansas City Chiefs.

Buffalo extended Taron Johnson, making him the highest-paid nickel corner in the league. The Bills also signed linebacker Nicholas Morrow while Tyrel Dodson moved on to sign with the Seattle Seahawks.

Gideon Canice

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