Buffalo issued the number to running back Senorise Perry, who signed a one-year contract with the Bills as a free agent in March. He also wore the No. 32 during his rookie campaign in 2014 for the Chicago Bears.
He switched to the No. 34 during the 2017 and 2018 season while playing for the Miami Dolphins. Perry also wore the number in college at Louisville.
No Bills player has worn No 32 since Simpson wore it on his jersey in 1977, his final season in Buffalo. Simpson had 557 yards on 126 carries in seven starts that season. He made five consecutive Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro in every season from 1972 through 1976. The Hall of Famer left Buffalo to join the San Francisco 49ers in 1978.
"Whatever they do is fine with me," Simpson, 71, told The Athletic. "That's how I feel. When I played there, I tried to honor the team. Since I left, I always tried to honor the Bills."
"And, to be honest, it's not something I think about. There's too much else going on in life."
Perry said he thought Simpson's number was retired. When he realized it wasn't, he jumped at the chance to snag it. Simpson's No. 32 is retired at the University of Southern California.
Simpson piled up 11,236 yards and 61 touchdowns in 135 career appearances during his decorated NFL tenure. Perry, 27, has never started a game during his three-year career. He had 30 rushing yards on eight carries, while primarily being used as a returner and special teams player.