When the Buffalo Bills open the 2020 season Sunday at home against the New York Jets, Jordan Poyer will be one of seven team captains for the Bills.

Poyer made his first appearance in local media in the Chinook Observer on May 31, 2000, as a third grader receiving a PRIDE Award (for Positive, Respectful, Improved, Dependable and Encouraging) at Naselle Elementary School. Later in 2000, he was playing on the Long Beach Peninsula’s Little League Football team, scoring touchdowns and contributing in other noticeable ways. Poyer went on to become a highly valued three-sport athlete at Astoria High School.

Entering his fourth season with Buffalo, Poyer was named a team captain for the 2020 season earlier this week, the team announced.

Quarterback Josh Allen and tackle Dion Dawkins were elected by their teammates as captains for the Buffalo offense, while Tremaine Edmunds, Jerry Hughes and Poyer were named as the defensive team captains. Reid Ferguson and Andre Roberts are the captains on special teams.

Poyer, a 2009 graduate of Astoria High School and current starting safety for the Bills, is in his eighth year in the NFL.

Poyer led Astoria to its first football state championship in 2008, and was part of state championship baseball teams for the Fishermen in 2006 and 2009.

After spending four years at Oregon State, he was a seventh-round draft choice for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013.

As a rookie in 2013, Poyer played for Philadelphia and Cleveland, spent 2014, ‘15 and ‘16 with the Browns and signed with Buffalo before the 2017 season.

Now 29, Poyer has become one of the top tacklers in the AFC. He was the leader in solo tackles for the Bills in 2019 with 71, and also had three forced fumbles and two interceptions.

It’s the first time in his career that Poyer will serve as a team captain, as Buffalo — with one of the top defensive units in the NFL — enters the 2020 season as one of the favorites in the AFC.

Entering his fourth year as a starting safety for Buffalo, Poyer signed a two-year contract extension with the Bills in March, reportedly worth $20.5 million. He has started 47 of 48 regular season games since 2017.

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