Sean McDermott said Thursday that Gerald Hodges was on his way back to Buffalo and there was a "good chance" the former 49ers linebackers would sign with the Bills.
As it turns out, the deal was done before practice was even over.
The Bills announced Hodges had signed as the team was going through its workout inside the AdPro Sports Training Center. To make room on the roster, cornerback Charles Gaines was cut.
The 26-year-old started 12 games and played in 15 for San Francisco last season, making 83 tackles with two interceptions and a forced fumble. A former fourth-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2013, Hodges is known for his coverage ability. He played safety in college at Penn State. The analytics website Pro Football Focus ranked Hodges 21st out of 87 graded linebackers in 2016. The 6-foot-2, 236-pounder figures to compete with Ramon Humber for the starting job at weak side linebacker.