The Buffalo Bills will soon be rolling six deep at safety.
Coach Doug Marrone said today that the Bills will sign safety Jim Leonhard, provided he passes a team physical, which he was taking this afternoon.
“We’re waiting for the physical, but he’s in the building,” Marrone said.
Leonhard should come in much further along than a normal player signing six days before the season opener. That’s because he has plenty of experience playing on a defense run by coordinator Mike Pettine.
After beginning his NFL career with the Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2005, Leonhard signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2008. He spent one year there, then followed Pettine and coach Rex Ryan to the New York Jets in 2009. Leonhard spent three years in New York, and along with his season with the Ravens, that four-year stretch marks the most productive of his career. During that time, Leonhard started 53 of 56 games, made 254 tackles, four interceptions, 3.5 sacks and 21 passes defensed.
“Yeah, that’s a bonus,” Marrone said of Leonhard’s experience with Pettine. “He’s played well.”
Leonhard made a free-agent visit to the Bills before the 2012 season, but ultimately signed a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos, starting one game. Leonhard was in training camp with the New Orleans Saints, but was one of the team’s final cuts.
Leonhard joins Jairus Byrd, Aaron Williams, Da’Norris Searcy, Duke Williams and Jonathan Meeks on the Bills’ 53-man roster.