May 25, 2024

Bills sign veteran trio of WR Chase Claypool, LB Deion Jones, DE Dawuane Smoot

Jones, meanwhile, officially entered veteran mercenary status in 2022 when he was traded to Cleveland for a Day 3 draft pick and appeared in 11 games, recording 44 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He followed that up with a 13-game stint in Carolina, where he filled a rotational role before heading back to the open market in 2024.

As a former Pro Bowl linebacker, Jones earned his last two opportunities with his reputation. But at 29 years old, it’s clear he’s now viewed as a player worth giving a chance, but not a guarantee. He’ll aim to land a roster spot with a Bills defense that could use some experienced help, especially as Matt Milano works his way back from a leg fracture and torn ACL suffered in Week 5 of the 2023 season.

Finally, Smoot lands somewhere in between the two. The 29-year-old defensive end had spent his entire seven-year career in Jacksonville as a rotational defender who started in 10 or more games just once (2021) and posted five or more sacks in each season from 2019-2022, but saw his production drop in 2023 before leaving the Jaguars.

He’ll provide depth behind the likes of Gregory Rousseau, A.J. Epenesa and Von Miller for a defensive front that also welcomed rookie defensive tackle DeWayne Carter and edge Javon Solomon in the draft. Like Jones, Smoot will aim to secure a roster spot as an experienced defender capable of fulfilling his duties when called upon.