McKenzie: 'I always wanted to be back' with the Bills

Bills wideout Isaiah McKenzie was re-signed by the Bills last Tuesday

Sal Capaccio
March 31, 2020 - 2:53 pm
Isaiah McKenzie

Photo: Billie Weiss - Getty Images

Isaiah McKenzie had no idea that the Buffalo Bills were going to trade for Stefon Diggs, and he doesn't know if the team is going to sign or draft any more wide receivers to add to the competition in, what's becoming, a crowded depth chart at the position. 

None of that mattered to him when it came to where he wanted to contune his NFL career. In Buffalo and back with the Bills.

"I always wanted to be back, no matter who came, no matter how many recivers they drafted," McKenzie told a contingent of local media via a video conference call on Tuesday from his home in Miami, Florida. "I felt like I had a role there, and I just want to build off what I did there and stay there and not be hopping around and things like that. I feel comfortable about it. Even though we got Stefon Diggs, that's even better. I like the competition in the room."

Isaiah McKenzie

McKenzie was scheduled to become a restricted free agent a couple weeks ago, but to retain his rights in that scenario, the Bills would have had to pay him at least $2.133 million, the lowest tender possible. That would have also allowed them the right to match any offers from another club or receive a fifth round pick in return. By not tendering him a qualifying offer, McKenzie became an unrestricted free agent, able to sign with any club with no compensation for the Bills. Eventually, he re-signed with the Bills last Tuesday. Terms of the new deal were not disclosed.

He said he and his agent talked about both scenarios, being tendered and not being tendered. After the Bills didn't submit a tender to retain his rights and he became a UFA, McKenzie said he received offers from other clubs. However, the Bills made him a "good offer" and he wanted to stay in Buffalo, which made the decision a lot easier.

McKenzie’s 27 catches for 254 yards was third most for any wide receiver on the team in 2019. He was also used on several jet sweeps, totaling eight carries for 49 yards.

He entered the league as a fifth round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Georgia.


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