The Buffalo Bills have some problems on their offensive line. They just lost their center, Eric Wood, to retirement. Their right guard and right tackle, Vlad Ducasse and Jordan Mills, are very weak. The second-highest paid man on the team, left tackle Cordy Glenn, is set to eat up 9 percent of the 2018 salary cap, holding a $14.45 million cap number, while also coming off of a second season shortened due to an injury to his foot/ankle area.
With Glenn’s injury history and his high cap number, it’s possible that the Bills will decide to move on from their left tackle and replace him with the same player who replaced Glenn in 2017. Dion Dawkins, the second of Buffalo’s round-two picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, was solid at left tackle as a rookie. While he was not as good as a healthy Glenn, the problem with Glenn has been an inability to remain on the field. Given his availability, Dawkins could be seen as being more of an asset to the team than Glenn, who carries with him considerable risk given his inability to overcome injury in the past two seasons.
Glenn has only managed to play 16 games in the last two seasons combined; he missed 5 games in 2016 and 11 more this past season. Dawkins was healthy, he carries a far lower cap number ($950,736 in 2018), and he should only continue to improve with valuable experience.
Of course, the best-case scenario for Buffalo involves having both Dawkins and Glenn in the lineup together. Initially, many fans thought that Dawkins was drafted to replace Mills on the right side; injuries to Glenn in training camp forced Dawkins to begin his NFL career at his collegiate position on the left side of the offensive line. If Glenn recovers fully from his second ankle surgery, then the Bills actually have a good problem on their hands—they have two extremely talented offensive tackles who are good enough to start games at left tackle.
If Dawkins is good enough to have filled in for Glenn, he is most certainly good enough to replace Jordan Mills in the starting lineup. A full offseason training camp on the right side of the offensive line should allow him enough repetitions to become comfortable with the different footwork that switching sides necessitates.
While Dion Dawkins showed that he was capable of replacing Cordy Glenn last season, teaming him with Glenn would allow the Bills to have their five best linemen on the field at the same time.
- All-22 analysis: Glenn’s 2017 was good when he was on the field
- Bills could save a lot of cap space by trading or releasing Glenn
- Free agent replacement for Cordy Glenn limited
- Lots of depth at offensive tackle in 2018 NFL Draft
- State of the Bills roster: offensive tackle questions start with Glenn’s health
- Seahawks, Bills discussed Cordy Glenn trade in October
- Bills should have moved a tackle at trade deadline