BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills took the first step in adding skill players to their offense this offseason by reaching an agreement with former New Orleans Saints wide receiver and returner Deonte Harty on a two-year deal, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The deal has a max value of $13.5 million, including $5 million fully guaranteed and a $9.5 million base salary.
The Bills need to address the wide receiver room this offseason after struggling to find a reliable slot receiver and with Gabe Davis stepping into the No. 2 role for the first time in his career. The team brought in veterans Cole Beasley and John Brown late in the season to address the need for speed and help in the middle of the field.
The Bills also restructured the deal of running back/returner Nyheim Hines earlier this week to keep him in Buffalo. Hines, who was used sparingly on offense after the Bills traded for him at the 2022 trade deadline, and Harty will give the team options at returner and provide depth as receivers with more work likely to be done.
Harty, who legally changed his last name from Harris to honor his stepfather, will bring speed to the Bills' offense. Named a first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl return specialist his rookie season in 2019, the 5-foot-6, 170-pound 25-year-old has averaged 9.8 yards per punt return and 25.4 yards per kick return in his career. He dealt with injuries in 2022 that limited his participation to four games. At wide receiver, he presents an option for offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey both in the slot (126 career routes) and outside (216 career routes), and has the ability to stretch the field (6.59 yards after catch per reception).