The Buffalo Bills (5-1) remain one of the best teams in the league heading into Week 8 of the 2022 NFL season and while the franchise is not expected to make any blockbuster moves before the November 1 trade deadline, they could add insurance at certain positions.
The Bills were dealt a massive blow when All-Pro safety Micah Hyde was placed on injured reserve for a herniated disc in his neck, and with fellow All-Pro safety Jordan Poyer struggling to stay healthy, Bleacher Report‘s Kristopher Knox believes it would be a “logical” move for the team to make a trade for Las Vegas Raiders safety Johnathan Abrams.
“The 2019 first-round pick has started all six games in 2022 and has logged 40 tackles and one pass defended,” Knox wrote. “He’s allowed a career-best opposing passer rating of 91.3 in coverage. With a base salary of $2.1 million, Abram would be a financial fit for most contenders… The Bills have just $1.6 million in cap space, but if they can clear a little room, adding Abram would be logical.”
Last week, ESPN‘s Jeremy Fowler reported that the Raiders were actively shopping Abram with one NFC executive noting how the team has been “aggressive” in replacing players from the former regime with players who better fit “their personality.”
As for what the Bills would need to give up in order to trade for the 26-year-old safety, USA Today‘s Marcus Mosher suggests a 2023 mid-round draft pick.
“With the emergence of Duron Harmon and Trevon Moehrig, the Raiders don’t really need Abram at this stage of the season,” Mosher wrote. “They do play some three safety packages, but that’s because they are trying to find ways to keep Abram involved in the defense. If Abram does get moved, expect it to be for a late Day 3 pick, similar to what they received for Johnathan Hankins.”
Damar Hamlin Took Over Hyde’s Role in the Starting Lineup
It’s difficult for anyone to truly replace Hyde, who’s amassed 257 tackles, 14 interceptions, 35 passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and one defensive touchdown in 79 starts for the Bills since he first joined the team in 2017, per NFL.com, but the Bills defense continues to thrive with the “next man up” mentality.
While it was largely expected for backup Jaquan Johnson to take over after Hyde was placed on IR, the Bills instead looked to Damar Hamlin to step up, and he’s since retained the starting role. However, Johnson, a fourth-year safety, did get his number called when Poyer was out against the Miami Dolphins in Week 3 and against the Steelers in Week 5.
Is Abram Worth the Trade?
Adding Abrams would not exactly be an upgrade over Hamlin or Johnson which makes it hard to get excited about this proposed trade. While the Mississippi State alum has recorded 31 solo tackles, he’s allowed 21 receptions and has a 47.8 overall grade from PFF. His run defense and pass coverage leaves a lot to be desired.
Hamlin, who PFF has given a 65.5 overall grade thus far this season, has tallied 22 solo tackles and allowed just three receptions. Johnson has a slightly lower PFF grade than Abram with 46.6.
Abram may need some stability to get his career back on track as the Raiders have been through three defensive coordinators over the past four years, and he likely has a chip on his shoulder since Las Vegas declined his fifth-year option back in April.
The Bills may be more interested in beefing up their offensive line than padding what’s already the No. 1 defense in the NFL.