The Buffalo Bills addressed a key depth need at receiver days before the start of free agency by re-signing Isaiah McKenzie to a two-year contract Sunday.
McKenzie returns for a fifth season in Buffalo, where his speed and versatility allowed him to create a play-making niche in the Bills’ offense. He had completed a one-year contract and was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.
McKenzie had a down year in finishing with just 20 catches for 178 yards and one touchdown in 15 games, including two starts. He also had nine carries for 47 yards and a TD while also splitting time returning kickoffs and punts.
Though McKenzie struggled handling the ball in the return game, he brings value as a slot receiver.
He enjoyed his best season in 2020, when McKenzie scored five touchdowns receiving.
With Buffalo having little space under the salary cap, McKenzie’s return could potentially lead the team parting ways with veteran Cole Beasley, who has been granted permission to negotiate a trade with other teams. McKenzie had a career-best 11 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown in a 33-21 win over New England on Dec. 26 while filling in for Beasley, who was placed on the NFL’s COVID-19 list.
The Bills’ depth at receiver behind Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis could be further drained with Emmanuel Sanders contemplating retirement.
Buffalo acquired McKenzie by claiming him off waivers after he was released by Denver during the 2018 season.