The Buffalo Bills have acknowledged two recently reported on transactions, making both official.
The team announced on Monday that running back Taiwan Jones and offensive lineman Ryan Bates have signed their previously reported deals.
Jones, 33, returned to the Bills last offseason as well via a one-year deal.
Last season, Jones was the Bills’ third-largest special teams contributor for Buffalo in terms of snaps played. That ranked only behind Tyler Matakevich and Reggie Gilliam.
This offseason, Buffalo promoted Matt Smiley to special teams coordinator. Jones will likely factor into his special teams unit.
Bates was a restricted free agent earlier this offseason and the Bills tendered him. Bates went on to sign an offer sheet from the Chicago Bears and Buffalo matched it so he returns.
The 25-year-old had been reportedly speaking to at least three other NFL teams in recent weeks.
Bates has been a key depth piece along Buffalo’s offense line for a few years since being acquired via trade with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2019. That deal originally mostly had to do with his versatility to play every position on the offensive line, something the Bills still covet.
In 2021, Bates finally got his first dose of starting time.
In Week 15, he began starting at left guard for Buffalo. Even when former starter Jon Feliciano returned to full health, Bates still held onto the job into the playoffs.
Bates originally jumped into the lineup when Ike Boettger went down with a season-ending Achilles injury. Buffalo a;sp announced that Boettger will be back via a one-year deal.
As free agency opened, the Bills signed Pro Bowl offensive lineman Rodger Saffold, who indicated he’s slated to start at left guard.
Despite that, both Saffold and Bates have the versatility to kick over to the right side of of the offensive line. Out of the gate this summer, it appears Bates and Saffold will be the favorites to start on Buffalo’s O-line in 2022.