Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE
Buffalo Bills left guard Andy Levitre has started every game in his four-year career, emerging as one of the NFL's most highly-regarded young linemen. The impending free agent tells The AP that he's yet to receive a contract offer from Buffalo.
Only one Buffalo Bills player has played every snap for his respective unit this season, and that's starting left guard Andy Levitre. In fact, Levitre has yet to miss a start in his four-year NFL career, hasn't missed a snap since early 2010, and is fairly widely considered to be one of the better young interior linemen in the game.
Levitre is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March. The 26-year-old guard told The Associated Press this week that he has yet to receive a formal contract offer from the Bills, despite the fact that preliminary discussions were held this past summer.
The lack of activity on that front makes one wonder just where Levitre stands with Buffalo's decision-making brass. After all, it was Levitre, and not then-new starting right guard Kraig Urbik, who lost reps to Chad Rinehart in a tumultuous 2011 pre-season that also saw Levitre moonlight at left tackle. Urbik - a good player in his own right - has since signed a four-year, $15 million contract extension, while Levitre plays the waiting game.
It's unclear what Levitre's asking price might be, or how much attention he'd likely receive on the open market. Two contracts to point out - both signed last March - are the five-year, $36 million contract (with $19.1 million guaranteed) that Ben Grubbs signed with New Orleans, and the five-year, $25 million contract (with $7 million guaranteed) that Evan Mathis signed to return to Philadelphia. It's not difficult to imagine Levitre's contract landing somewhere between those two deals, wherever he signs. There's a significant amount of room between those two deals, as well.
In the end, what's clear about the situation is this: replacing Levitre would be a tall order for a Bills offensive line that has struggled with injury at literally every other position up front. Keeping him, at whatever price, would lock in a young interior trio for the foreseeable future. This seems like a no-brainer to lay people like you and I; time will tell if the Bills agree.