Devin Singletary showed that he is a consistent threat to be a good running back in his time with the Buffalo Bills. However, all good runs come to an end.
Singletary’s stint with the Bills seems as if it is nearing a close. He enters free agency in a matter of weeks, and it remains to be seen if the team re-signs him.
After consecutive seasons finishing as an RB2, it seems as if he could be in for a regression following years of solid play.
Wherever Singletary ends up, he seems due for a down year. Whether he’s back with the Bills or on a new team, there is a reason he could have a decline in production in 2023.
Devin Singletary contends with James Cook
There is a reason the Bills have yet to sign the man known as “Motor” to an extension. The team drafted a stud running back early in the 2022 NFL Draft. Of course, they want to see what the youngling can do.
However, there is always the potential for Buffalo to bring back Singletary. So, why would he be due for a regression season if he returns?
The easy answer is James Cook.
For a more in-depth answer, look at how last season played out for both running backs. It was similar to the way Leonard Fournette and Rachaad White went.
Cook started the season on the bench, barely getting meaningful snaps. However, he slowly got more involved in the game plan.
Soon enough, Cook consistently saw about 25% of the snaps at running back.
Sure, Singletary still got the bulk of the snaps at running back, but there Cook was creeping up in the rearview mirror.
Following the Thanksgiving game, the shift began and Cook got even more involved in each game. Instead of 25%, he was seeing upwards of 30%.
During the final seven games of the season (including playoffs), Cook played 30% or more of the team’s offensive snaps.
Even worse for Singletary is at points during this stretch, Cook got more snaps than him. However, Singletary’s involvement in the passing game was a constant, until the Bills made a trade at the deadline.
Trade terms, per source:
🏈RB Zack Moss and a conditional 6th round pick in 2023 to the Colts.
🏈Nyheim Hines to the Bills.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 1, 2022
However, the Bills traded for Nyheim Hines at the trade deadline. That might have been the final nail in the coffin for Singletary’s time with the Bills. Now the team has a rushing threat and pass-catching threat out of the backfield. Meanwhile, Singletary is heading to free agency.
Where would Devin Singletary start?
It is no secret that Singletary was the starting running back in Buffalo. At the beginning of the season, he saw a 70%, or better, snap share in the offense in eight of the first 11 games of the season.
Volume is key for a running back to gain any amount of momentum, which helped propel “Motor” to such a good finish when his snap share decreased.
However, if he leaves in free agency, which team is going to give Singletary a 70% snap share for half of the season?
Almost every team has an established starting running back. The team that can make the biggest argument for giving Singletary that kind of snap share is the Carolina Panthers, assuming they let D’Onta Foreman want in free agency.
However, the Panthers have Chuba Hubbard, and he was amazing toward the end of 2022, putting up over 60 total yards in each of the final six games of the season. Hubbard showed he is worth a look as the starting running back in Carolina.
But, with a new coach and scheme in place, you never know what can happen at any position.
Other than the Panthers under the perfect circumstances, it is hard to imagine Singletary getting such a big chunk of the snaps at running back again.
That said, whether or not Singletary leaves Buffalo or stays in free agency, it is fair to pencil him in for a regression season in 2023.
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