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NFL free agency: Buffalo Bills a ‘top suitor’ for Evan Engram?

Tight end’s market is going to be fascinating

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Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills are considered a suitor for tight end Evan Engram, the soon-to-be former New York Giants tight end who is headed to free agency in just a few days. There would be some irony should that be how things work out.

The New York Giants have spent the offseason raiding the Bills. GM Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll came from Buffalo. A few of the assistant coaches, as well. Quarterback Davis Webb, running back Antonio Williams and wide receiver Austin Proehl were with the Bills a season ago. They might be interested in quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and offensive lineman Jon Feliciano.

Dan Duggan of The Athletic mentioned the Bills’ interest in Engram in a recent column. Duggan said his sources are calling the Bills “a top suitor” for Engram.

That makes sense. The Bills do have tight end Dawson Knox, but could Buffalo be a team looking at Engram as a potential slot receiver? Current Bills’ slot receiver Cole Beasley has requested a trade, so there is a need at that position.

Joe Buscaglia, Bills’ beat writer for The Athletic, calls Engram “quite intriguing” for Buffalo.

With Brian Daboll now the head coach of the Giants, the Bills have a first-time offensive coordinator in Ken Dorsey controlling the offense. But Dorsey’s promotion gives McDermott the opportunity to have more of a say in how the Bills operate on offense. He’s not going to tell Dorsey what to do at every turn. But ultimately, McDermott is the head coach, and it’s hard to ignore how happy he was with how the offense evolved last season. That’s where Evan Engram comes into play.

He has the athleticism to play tight end and receiver, he’s improved as a blocker and at 27, he’s in the prime of his career. There is also an opportunity here for the Bills that screams Brandon Beane. They could sign a player whose market value is legitimately lower than the talent level indicates because of how horrible the Giants offense was last year. Engram was a Pro Bowl player in 2020 and has been targeted more than 100 times twice in his career. Spotrac has Engram valued at $6.7 million per season, and with a multiyear deal, the Bills can easily work that cap hit down while keeping cap space to make more moves. Tight end franchise tags are near $11 million in 2022. Adding Engram to an explosive offense with Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Dawson Knox, and whoever else they bring in gives Engram a chance to significantly outplay his deal with the Bills.

Engram’s free agent market promises to be fascinating, as will how he plays for his new team. How much will teams pay him? How will whoever signs him use him? Will he end up outperforming what he did with the Giants?

Time will tell.