Bills Demonstrate Significant Interest in $30 Million Defensive Tackle Following Unexpected Release: Source

Bills Demonstrate Significant Interest in $30 Million Defensive Tackle Following Unexpected Release: Source

After a day filled with significant subtractions from their roster, the Buffalo Bills are looking at making a big addition.

Foley Fatukasi

The Bills parted ways with a host of key veterans on March 6, creating significant salary cap space and signaling a potential reshaping of the roster on defense. The team may be starting the rebuild plans, with NFL Network Ian Rapoport reporting that they are looking into a top free-agent defensive lineman.

Bills Looking to Build the Trenches

Rapoport reported that the Bills had planned a meeting with defensive lineman Foley Fatukasi, who had been released by the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier in the week. Fatukasi had signed a three-year, $40 million contract with the Jaguars in 2022 but struggled last season, ending with a career-low 24 tackles.

Despite the down season, Fatukasi is still getting significant interest in free agency, NFL Network’s Mike Garofolo reported.

“Former #Jaguars DT Foley Fatukasi visited the #Texans yesterday, sources say. Released by Jacksonville the other day, Fatukasi has interest from a few teams,” Garofolo wrote on X.

The #Bills are visiting with recently released DT Foley Fatukasi today, per @rapsheet.

The Bills could have a need at defensive line, with starter DaQuan Jones headed to free agency.

The team could still have plans of re-signing Jones, with SI.com’s Ralph Ventre noting that he still appears invested in the long-term plans in Buffalo.

“Free agent defensive tackle DaQuan Jones may have dropped that a hint that he’s interested in returning to the Buffalo Bills for the 2024 season,” Ventre wrote.

“Jones was quick to celebrate the news of Marcus West’s promotion to defensive line coach on social media. West, who served as assistant defensive line coach for both of Jones’s seasons with the Bills, takes a step up to replace the well-respected Eric Washington, who left to join the Chicago Bears as defensive coordinator.”

Though Jones missed a significant chunk of the season with an injury, he made a strong impact through the first seven games of the season. Jones registered 2.5 sacks and five quarterback hits, with two tackles for a loss against the run.

The Bills also need to make a decision on edge rusher A.J. Epenesa, who is also headed to free agency. The team is headed to free agency with just one defensive lineman — veteran Ed Oliver — under contract.

Big Changes in Buffalo

The Bills have already made some significant roster changes, especially on defense. The team announced a series of significant moves on Wednesday, including the release of All-Pro safety Jordan Poyer and All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White.

The Bills also released defensive back Siran Neal, return specialist Deonte Harty and running back Nyheim Hines, and restructured Von Miller’s contract to lower his base salary from $17.14 million to $1.5 million with a $7 million signing bonus.

Kevin Patra of NFL.com reported that the team saved close to $36.16 million with the six separate moves, and could still have an even bigger chunk by restructuring the contract of quarterback Josh Allen

The Bills now have the flexibility to make more moves in free agency, and could turn some of their attention to the receiving corps where No. 2 receiver Gabe Davis is expected to leave in free agency.

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