The Buffalo Bills moved to add some much-needed stability to their special teams units Monday by re-signing long-snapper Reid Ferguson to a three-year contract, the team announced.
Ferguson has held the long-snapping job the past two years and was scheduled to become an exclusive-rights free agent with the expiration of his contract in March. The Bills could have retained his rights simply by making him a one-year offer, but opted for a longer-term deal. Ferguson had announced on Jan. 3 that he would be back with the team.
“It's something I've obviously been working hard toward for a long time,” Ferguson said from his home in Atlanta. “For the team to show they want to keep me here for awhile is something I greatly appreciate.”
While the Bills’ special teams struggled most of 2018, it wasn’t the fault of the long snapper. Ferguson has demonstrated consistency in snapping for kicker Stephen Hauschka and the Bills' punters. Buffalo used three punters in 2018, going from Corey Bojorquez to Colton Schmidt to Matt Darr.
“I think it's a mixture of being able to take advice from veterans I've met along the way, whether it's Stephen, who I’m working with now, or Colton, taking advice from them on day-to-day stuff on how to be a professional, the ins and outs of the job,” Ferguson said. “But it’s also kind of formulating my own daily routine and just staying on the grind every day, going out to practice with a mindset I want to get better each and every day I go out there.”
The Bills ranked 31st in the NFL overall on special teams, according to Rick Gosselin's ranking. Ferguson will be coached on the units by new coordinator Heath Farwell.
“I think probably a good part of it is because we had so many young guys that were playing special teams throughout the season, either for the very first time or with a little bit of experience under their belts,” Ferguson said of the ranking.
“One way to look at it is it's something to build on,” he said. “I don't know if the right phrase would be you can only go up from here. But getting the young guys playing time, including myself, last year was only my second year. So it’s getting them playing time and getting them familiar with what it takes: One, to make a team by being on special teams; and two, keeping your spot during the season by performing each week and knowing what your job is based on what phase you're in.”
Ferguson, 24, entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Louisiana State in 2016. He took over the snapping job from Garrison Sanborn two years ago.