Buffalo Bills Free Agency Potential Re-signing: Taylor Rapp

Buffalo Bills Free Agency Potential Re-signing: Taylor Rapp

The Bills secondary is in a state of transition heading into 2024. They have both Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer potentially aging out while several younger players could step in along with veterans, this leads to a lot of uncertainty at a crucial position. 

Taylor Rapp is a pending free agent who is part of that uncertainty where he could come back to a familiar situation or try to go elsewhere. After success out west with the Los Angeles Rams, Rapp appeared to look for a new opportunity when he signed a one-year deal with the Bills last March. 

He was seen as a potential future piece in the secondary especially as Poyer and Hyde aged out. While he did see playing time when both were forced to miss time, when he did play left something to be desired. 

He was available most of the season and did find a place in the defense, but the Bills have to decide whether he warrants an increase in playing time. 

Below is Rapp’s publicly reported injury history and any concerns moving forward. 

Injury History

Due to Rapp’s lengthy injury history, here is the analysis from last year

2023 Bills

Neck injury, Week 11, missed 1 game.

Left calf injury, Week 18, missed 2 games. 

Level of Concern

There isn’t one particular body part that stands out for any concern, but he has now missed 18 games including playoffs over the last five seasons. He plays a very physical style of football that is welcomed but he also suffers more frequent injuries as a result. In addition, his play borders on reckless at times and has regrettably caused injuries to his fellow teammates. 

His calf injury was the result of a diving interception that secured the win against the Miami Dolphins. Unfortunately, the calf injury was severe enough that he was forced to miss the next two games. While the injuries were less than he suffered in the past, he still wasn’t available when it mattered most. As an aging vet, I hope that he is taking care of his body to extend his career, but eventually the smaller injuries can lead to more time missed, offering less value to future contracts. 


The only drawback for Rapp is the injury history. The Bills signed him to a 1-year, $1.77 million contract last year which was a deal coming off four years with the Los Angeles Rams. Knowing he misses on average 3.6 games a season, the Bills would be paying for the possibility of not only paying for him, but paying for the depth necessary to cover for him should he suffer another injury and miss time. 

It’s not that he hasn’t played well during his five years in the league, but the Bills would have to account for his absence through adding extra depth. The signing last year was a deal because there was no downside with a contract that cheap, but a new contract with more money may turn the Bills off from re-signing him. 

Stay or Leave

I believe Rapp’s future is somewhat tied up with what Micah Hyde ultimately does. Should Hyde retire or look to go elsewhere, this could mean an elevated role for Rapp in the defense. The status of Jordan Poyer could also play into this, but he is under contract for another year. 

If Rapp is promised a starting role and seen as a crucial part moving forward, then he would be worth keeping around. If he is another depth option, he might be best to move on and look elsewhere for a new contract. 

Market Value

Spotrac has Rapp signing a contract with an AAV of $5.5 million. Comparables outlined are Juan Thornhill, Julian Love, Terrell Edmunds, and Eric Murray. Looking at those contracts, Rapp is nowhere near what Thornhill is and Love appears to be a little more consistent from a statistical perspective. 

Looking at the AAV, I would expect that number to be worth it provided that Rapp is getting consistent playing time in his next deal. Should he sign with the Bills under the same circumstances, that price is a little rich for my taste.

Final Thoughts

Rapp’s future with the Bills will be a direct result of what other moves at safety will be made. His projected market value is rich for the role he plays in the defense now as a reserve player. 

If he is elevated to a starting role, he has had plenty of experience and could perform well in the second year on the Buffalo Bills roster. If he remains in a reserve role, I would move on from him unless he is willing to take the same deal that brought him here in the first place. 

It appears counterproductive to either want him as a starter or not at all, but they could bring in similar safeties including Terrel Edmunds for a cheaper deal in a reserve role. The Bills should offer Rapp a contract based on what they think his role will be for them. Should he not like that deal or a different opportunity, they could let him walk to find a better deal. Between his injury history and current role, he is not worth investing a lot of money into to keep around if he’s not a starter. 

I wish Taylor Rapp the best of luck in free agency.