Special teams coordinator Heath Farwell confirmed Friday that Stephen Hauschka will enter the summer as the team's top kicker, but Bass will have a chance to unseat the veteran in an open competition, Maddy Glab of the Bills' official site reports. "Then you have a young player like Tyler who is loaded with talent," Farwell said. "He has a lot of ton of upside, but he's got to prove it in the preseason and training camp."
Hauschka has been Buffalo's kicker for three seasons, and while he's lost some accuracy and leg strength from his Seattle days, he's done fairly well in a tough climate, especially on pressure kicks. Coach Sean McDermott also values leadership, which Hauschka provides. That said, Bass has a booming leg and is the rare kicker that actually got drafted, so it's a competition not to be dismissed. Perhaps with the extra roster flexibility rules for 2020, the Bills might even be sold into keeping two kickers, Hauschka for anything inside 50 and Bass for long kicks and kickoffs.
Bass has signed his rookie deal with the Bills, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Bass and his booming leg were taken out of Georgia State in the sixth round of the recent draft. It'll be tough for him to unseat incumbent Stephen Hauschka with what could be a limited tryout this summer, though the Bills did select him for a reason. With slightly expanded rosters there's a decent chance the Bills keep him around, at minimum, as a kickoff and long field goal specialist.
The Bills selected Bass in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, 188th overall.
Bass (5-foot-10, 185) was a three-year starting kicker at Georgia State, where he made 54 of 68 field goals (79.4 percent). He'll compete with Stephen Hauschka and Kaare Vedvik.