Cam Lewis isn’t where he thought he’d be.

“To be quite frank with you, I didn’t even think I was going to make it to the NFL,” Lewis admitted. “NFL wasn’t even on my radar going into my first two years. I think my junior year was when I really decided, OK, I’m going to at least go try and you know five years later I’m still here.”

Lewis’ pro path has been a challenging test in perseverance.

He signed with the Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2019, landing on the practice squad that entire season. The PS was where he started the 2020 campaign, but found his way up on the active roster for five games, two of which he started. A third go-around on the PS was where 2021 started, but once again Lewis worked his way up for seven games, starting one.

Then finally, in 2022, he cemented a spot on the 53-man roster, playing 13 games with one start. And this season, he’s played in 14 games. 

“A lot of ups and downs, but it’s been good,” Lewis said. “I feel like I wouldn’t want it any other way. I feel like I was kind of built for this path that God put me on.”

A path that has seen Lewis play every spot in the secondary on top of working his way into a core special teams player.

“Just trying to find ways to make the most of my opportunities and make plays,” Lewis said. “Just trying to stay around because this league can spit you out real quick. You get here for a second and next minute you’re gone, so just trying to find a way. I keep saying it, just trying to stick around and make the most of my opportunities.”

Over five years, opportunities have come in a variety of ways for Lewis. Of his four career starts, one came at outside corner, two at nickel and one at safety. The truest definition of what the Bills preach heavily – position flexibility.

“It’s been tough, to be honest with you,” Lewis said. “It’s been tough. I always wanted to be great at one thing. When I was in college I’d just play outside corner so I drilled, drilled, drilled outside corner and that was the area I was trying to be good at. Then I got moved to inside and I just tried to drill, drill that. Just trying to be everywhere. I wouldn’t say I’m trying to be good everywhere and occasionally great sometimes. I try and go out there and be great, but it’s been tough… It’s a lot to take into, but I feel like I was the right man for it and I feel like I’ve improved myself as well.”

Lewis says he has navigated all the moving around by doing a lot of observing and listening to the veterans around him, crediting Tre’Davious White, Taron Johnson, Micah Hyde, and Jordan Poyer with helping guide him each step of the way.

“He reminds me a lot of myself when I first got into the league,” Poyer said. “Just fighting and clawing for every opportunity and then just capitalizing on every single one every time he gets one.”

“I’ve been seeing it in practice,” Johnson added. “I’ve always thought he was a good player as soon as he got here. I’m just happy he’s getting the opportunity now to show that. He always could cover. He always could tackle well.”

The switch to safety came late in training camp a year ago, with Lewis looking at it as just as another move for survival.

It hasn’t been an easy transition, headlined by an incredible catch by Justin Jefferson over Lewis last season.

But Lewis feels he’s continued to improve at the position – and Sean McDermott agrees.

“The mentality that Cam has, he’s one of our more mentally tough competitors and I think he learned from that play,” McDermott said. “That was just early in his career as a safety in the NFL. You watched him this past weekend, running down on kickoffs and hitting the way he hits. He’s just one of our more physically and mentally tough players.” 

Is safety where Lewis hopes to stay? As you’d expect, he feels his preference really doesn’t matter.

“I’m whatever you need me to be,” Lewis said with a laugh. “Whatever you need me to be. Since it’s my second year playing it, I’ve grown to like the position. But I feel like my first love is nickel. I feel like I really excel in that, but I’ve been doing really well at safety as well. It’s just a different viewpoint. You just got to see everything. You got to see what your corners are doing, what your inside guys are doing, and reading the quarterback. It’s a lot different from what I’m used to, but I guess you can just classify me as a DB. Anything you need me to do I can do on the back end.”