The Buffalo Bills signed former first-round pick Shane Ray on a try-out basis following the team’s rookie minicamp.
Ray has spent the past two seasons playing north of the border in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts. He has not played in an NFL game since the 2018 season.
“Words can’t describe the emotions I’m feeling right now,” Ray said in an Instagram post about his signing. “So many tears, sleepless nights, depression, everything that comes with losing the game. So many days of having nothing but hope while fighting a uphill battle. There where times that I thought maybe I should give up, but I wouldn’t be me if I folded.Even in my darkest moments I believed in myself. I believed in my preparation. I believed that I would have another opportunity even if the world didn’t believe.”
The SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2014 for Missouri, Ray arrived in the NFL coming off a dominant junior year for the Tigers that resulted in All-America honors. He finished the campaign with 22.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks.
He was drafted with the 23rd overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. Ray spent the next four years with the franchise, playing in 49 games and starting 15 of them for the AFC West outfit.
His best season was his second year in the league in 2016 when he notched 8.0 sacks and recovered two fumbles.
During the 2019 offseason, Ray was picked up by the Baltimore Ravens but was cut before the season started.
He didn’t play football again until 2021 with the Argonauts. With Toronto, he helped the team win the 109th Grey Cup.
Shane Ray is not the only Bills signing out of rookie minicamp
In addition to Shane Ray, the Buffalo Bills also signed TCU linebacker Travin Howard and UCF running back Isaiah Bowser on a try-out basis. Bowers, who started his college football career at Northwestern, is a rookie.
Howard was a seventh-round pick of the Los Angeles Rams in the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent the past five years with the Rams, although he only made appearances in three seasons.
The biggest play of his career so far was intercepting Jimmy Garoppolo in the final two minutes of the NFC Championship Game two seasons ago to clinch the Rams’ 20-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.