ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. [WKBW] — Von Miller has put pen to paper. Less than 24 hours after the news broke, Miller made his way to Buffalo to officially become the newest member of the Bills. On Thursday, he and some of his new teammates were formally introduced as the Bills piece together their 2022 roster.
5 Observations from Thursday's free agent introductions:
It's Miller Time
Leaving Los Angeles wasn't an easy decision for Von Miller. In fact, it was excruciating. Miller loved his new team, coaches, and city.
As he was introduced to Western New York, Miller admitted the last 24 hours have been filled with mixed emotions. He didn't know how to feel about his decision. But then he got to Highmark Stadium and the weight of his $120 million decision lifted off his shoulders.
“I’m excited to be here, I really am. I’m excited to be part of this community, I’m excited to be part of Bills Mafia, and I’m excited to be part of this team," Miller said. "They’ve got a special team, they were going to win a Super Bowl without me. They’ve got a great team without me but I’m excited to be here and excited to be part of it.”
Miller's decision was based on a lot of factors. He loved the culture built in Buffalo, he wanted to be teammates with Josh Allen, and above all else, he wants to bring this city a championship.
"I'm excited to go chase multiple Super Bowls with these guys. It’s an honor and privilege to be here."
A leader on and off the field
Everyone knows what Von Miller can do on the field. His 115.5 sacks lead all active players in the NFL. But he also prides himself on what he brings into the Bills locker room.
"When it comes to being a great teammate, when it comes to being part of the guys and contributing, and the culture, I’ve got that in my back pocket," Miller said. "That’s what I’ve done on Super Bowl teams, that’s what I’ve done on teams that didn’t make the playoffs. When it comes to being a great teammate and bringing the best out of your brother, I’m one of the best that has ever done that. And I can toot my own horn in that aspect."
The Bills already have their fair share of leaders but with an especially young defensive line, Miller is a colossal addition. His voice and experience will do wonders for the likes of Greg Rousseau, Boogie Basham, A.J. Epenesa, and Ed Oliver.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Jordan Phillips had his best season as a pro in 2019 as a member of the Buffalo Bills. After some injuries and inconsistent play in Arizona, he was released earlier this week. It didn't take him long to latch back on with the Bills and as he explains, he's giddy.
"I mean, you have the best quarterback in the league. You have one of the best wide receivers in the league. We just signed the best pass rusher in the league. Ed [Oliver] is playing really well. You're going to get Tre'Davious White back, you have the two best safeties in the league. One of the best linebackers in the league. Why wouldn't you come back?"
Return of the Shaq
Like Phillips, adding Shaq Lawson back into the mix is another smart move for the Bills. By all accounts, Lawson was loved in the locker room by his teammates. In his last two seasons, Lawson has just five combined sacks. But playing opposite Von Miller could allow the 27-year-old to thrive. The Bills have yet to announce the Lawson signing but all signs point in that direction.
"Wooooooooo" - Rick Flair - Tim Settle
In the middle of his media conference, newly signed defensive tackle Tim Settle let out a big "WOOOOO" as he explained how excited he was to be joining the Bills.
You could just tell how excited Settle is to be joining the Bills. He said coming to Buffalo isn't a new chapter, it's a new book, as the 24-year-old looks to reach his potential. In Washington, he played behind some elite defensive linemen and didn't get the opportunities he was hoping for. Now, as part of a rotation, he believes he can let his play do the talking as he looks to help the Bills defense take their game to the next level.