Jerry Hughes: Re-sign or Let Walk?
Jerry Hughes is the longest-tenured Buffalo Bill on this roster. Since his arrival via trade in 2013, he has been a big part to the success of the Bills defense. Now, the Bills face a tough decision as the 33 year old Hughes will be an unrestricted free agent in March. This poses the question: Should the Bills bring back Jerry Hughes?
Hughes is coming off a two year/$21M deal he signed in 2019. He’s had an underwhelming last three seasons, totaling 11 sacks and 68 pressures in that span. However, he’s been one of the most consistent pass rushers on the Bills roster.
With all the young players at his position (A.J. Epenesa, Greg Rousseau, Carlos Basham), it doesn’t bode well for Hughes’ future with the team. The Bills could look to get younger and more dynamic this off-season and bring in a dominant pass rusher in free agency. If that does happen, we could see Hughes either play for another team in 2022 or retire.
Hughes mentioned after their divisional round loss that he would like to keep chasing a Super Bowl victory. “I want some hardware,” Hughes said. “We were close to getting that last year. So now we know what it takes… And if this is my last opportunity being a Buffalo Bill, I want to go out on top”, Hughes said via a video conference. Hughes is still talking like he wants to keep playing. Ultimately, it’s up to the Bills brass if his future is with the team. Spotrac projects Hughes’ market value at $3.3M average salary, with a projected contract of two years/$6.6M. If so, that might be an enticing contract for the Bills to keep a veteran presence at that position.
During his nine year career with the Bills, Hughes has totaled 350 tackles, 53 sacks, 170 QB hits, 16 forced fumbles, and one INT in 144 career games.