3. Buffalo Bills
The Bills are another AFC East team that had been linked to several notable running backs such as Dalvin Cook and A.J. Dillon among others this offseason. General manager Brandon Beane also admitted that the team expressed a degree of interest in trading for then-Panthers All-World running back Christian McCaffrey last season before he was ultimately traded to the 49ers.
Once that fell through, the Bills acquired Nyheim Hines from the Colts with the hope that he would fill an important role as a pass-catching weapon out of the backfield. Unfortunately for Hines and the Bills, things haven’t gone as planned. Hines ran for negative three (no, that’s not a typo) rush yards and caught five passes in nine games as a member of the Bills in 2022. Unfortunately, he was involved in a jet ski accident this offseason where he was struck by another rider while “sitting stationary,” per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. While the injuries he sustained are thankfully non-life threatening, he is expected to miss the entire 2023 season.
Bills second-year running back James Cook has shown flashes of potential to be a three-down workhorse, but continues to cede work to veteran tailbacks Latavius Murray and Damien Harris. Barkley could add another level of dynamism that this offense is sorely lacking behind All-Pro wide receiver Stefon Diggs. A trio of Josh Allen, Barkley, and Diggs could result in one of the NFL’s most potent offensive attacks.