The Buffalo Bills struck a deal to re-sign starting safety Micah Hyde to a two-year extension that will keep him with the team through the 2023 season, the team announced on Friday.
The new deal for the 30-year-old Hyde is worth $19.25 million, plus Hyde received a $7.5 million bonus upon signing of the extension.
Hyde was due to be a free agent at the end of the 2021 season so they could have waited to re-sign him but the franchise has always been bullish on Hyde’s prospects, following up a five-year, $30 million free agent investment in the safety back in 2017 with this new, more lucrative extension.
“I didn’t see any drop-off from Micah this year, so I can’t say I think he’s declining or anything like that. I’m a big fan of Micah Hyde, just what he brings not only on the field but in our building. You guys feel me,” general manager Brandon Beane said in his end-of-season press conference about a month ago. “One of the most positive personalities to be around and just a super-competitive guy.”
Some of that competitive fire surely comes from the chip on Hyde’s shoulder. After a standout career at Iowa the Fostoria, Ohio native fell all the way to the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, where the Green Bay Packers snagged him.
Hyde would go on to four productive seasons with the Pack, but midway through that fourth season, Hyde was told by management that he would not be receiving an extension when his contract was up at the end of that season, an experience that “left a scar” which Hyde now sees as a major turning point in his NFL journey.
“It was a pivotal point in my career to where I really looked myself in the mirror and said, ‘We’ve got to really change this thing and get better,'” Hyde said about the experience. “I think with the opportunity I got in Buffalo, it just came hand in hand.”
In his debut season with Buffalo in 2017 he was named to his first Pro Bowl while also earning a Second-Team All-Pro nod after putting up career highs in tackles (82), interceptions (5), and passes defensed (13) during that campaign.
Hyde is now considered one of the premiere safeties in the league while also playing in perhaps the best safety pairing (alongside Jordan Poyer) in football at the moment.
The Bills made it all the way to the AFC Championship at the end of the 2020 season—during which Hyde contributed 70 tackles and one pick—but fell to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs’ juggernaut of an offense. Keeping a solid safety like Hyde with the team is a smart move as they reload to hopefully take down Mahomes next season and reach the Super Bowl.
According to the bookmakers, the Chiefs (+250 NFL odds to win the AFC) are indeed the biggest obstacle in Buffalo’s path to the Super Bowl, with the Bills sitting second in the odds table at +550. The Bills currently have +1000 odds to win the Super Bowl, fifth-lowest in the odds table.
Hyde has not been shy about trying to get free agents to come to Buffalo to help them get over that hump, though his results have been mixed, which he is not happy about.
“I would talk to some free-agent guys that I’m close with, we’d have conversations and they’re going on visits, I’d say, ‘Hey, man, come to Buffalo,’ and they’re like, ‘I’m cool, I’m gonna go somewhere else,’” Hyde said about his recruiting attempts. “Well at the end of the day, I bet you they’re pretty pissed off they didn’t take those visits with Buffalo because they’re probably sitting on a trash team or sitting on a couch somewhere else.”
Despite his shortcomings when it comes to wrangling free agents, Hyde remains confident about this Bills team moving into the future. Hyde, Poyer, and All-Pro corner Tre’Davious White all arrived together in the 2017 offseason with the goal of changing the franchise’s culture and mentality and are all signed with the team through 2023.
Four years into Hyde’s tenure, and the Bills have reached an AFC title game for the first time in nearly 30 years—you better believe Hyde is going to stick around and see this thing out.
“We felt like when we got there in ’17, the organization obviously wasn’t where we’d want it to be, and I thought the last couple years we were able to turn the thing around,” he said. “I would’ve had a big empty pit in my stomach if I were to have ended up anywhere else, because this team is headed in the right direction.”