The Buffalo Bills have given the low-level tenure (which is set to be roughly $1.79 million) to offensive lineman Ryan Groy, the team announced today. They also confirmed the same was given to running back Mike Gillislee, which was reported last night.
Groy, 26, was in his second season with the Bills after spending his rookie year with the Chicago Bears. He played in all 16 games last year, beginning as a primary backup at guard but taking over as the team’s primary center when Eric Wood was lost for the season during the Week 9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
If Groy earns an offer from another team, the tender gives the Bills the right to match the offer. Groy was an undrafted free agent, so if the Bills decline to match they will receive no compensation.
The price of guards in free agency is rising, with the top players on the market earning over $10 million per year. If a team is interested in a low-cost yet serviceable player at the position, it’s possible that Groy could earn an offer sheet the Bills are unwilling to match. It’s also possible the Bills could move on from Wood, a fan favorite and locker room leader who is nevertheless set to hit free agency after this coming season and would clear $3 million in cap space if he were to be released. They could also negotiate a long-term deal with Groy, who played very well in Wood’s stead and could replace him permanently after this season.