The story of Buffalo Bills’ offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson is one that is very familiar to most Bills fans. The 2014 seventh round pick out of the University of Miami came with a reputation as a marijuana user, which caused him to slide down draft boards across the league. Buffalo was rewarded early on for taking a leap of faith with the ultra-talented lineman, as he started all 16 games at right tackle during his rookie season.
Unfortunately, Henderson was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease towards the end of his second NFL campaign. Perhaps even more unfortunately, he was suspended by the league for the first four games of the 2016 NFL season for marijuana use, something he says was to fight the Crohn’s Disease. On Thanksgiving 2016, word leaked that he would be suspended for ten more games for the same infraction.
Where does this leave Henderson for 2017?
Name: Seantrel Henderson
Height/Weight:6’7”, 331 pounds
College: University of Miami
Draft: Round 7, 2014 (237 overall)
Financial Situation (per Spotrac): Henderson is in the last year of his rookie contract, a 4-year pact worth $2,270,880. He is due to count $1,809,720 against the cap this year; he can be released at a dead cap hit of only $12,720.
2016 Recap: Henderson spent the majority of last season suspended, and when he wasn’t suspended, he was mostly inactive due to complications from his illness. He appeared in one game, a 16-12 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on November 20. He played 34 snaps, effectively splitting with Jordan Mills (who played 35).
Positional Outlook: Cyrus Kouandjio, who was picked in the second round of the 2014 draft, is gone, meaning Henderson outlasted a man who was selected 193 spots prior to him by the same team. The Bills re-signed Mills and drafted Dion Dawkins in the second round this season. Cordy Glenn is firmly entrenched as the team’s left tackle.
2017 Offseason: Little has been written about Hendreson, which is probably a good thing. This brief blurb from a Bills Today briefing (via buffalobills.com) is somewhat positive, however:
“Seantrel Henderson looks fit and healthy after dealing with a medical condition for much of last season, but he’s got five games of a league-imposed suspension to still serve when the 2017 season opens.”
2017 Season Outlook: If the Bills want to slow-play the situation, they can start Henderson on the suspended list while still keeping 3 other tackles (Glenn, Mills, and Dawkins). If Mills plays poorly at right tackle, the team can cut him and activate Henderson after the latter serves his suspension.
Of course, it’s also possible that Henderson is cut outright prior to the beginning of the season; however, with the option to stash him on the roster for at least 5 games, I don’t think that is the route the team will take.