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Fan sentiment: what should the Buffalo Bills do with Vlad Ducasse this offseason?

Let your voice be heard

The Buffalo Bills offensive line didn’t play well enough in 2018. They fired offensive line coach Juan Castillo and replaced him with up-and-comer Bobby Johnson. What does that mean for the vacant right guard spot and backup guard Vlad Ducasse, who was benched halfway through 2018?

Read our information and then vote in the poll at the bottom of the article.

All-22 Review

(Read the entire analysis by Jeff Kantrowski)

Vlad Ducasse isn’t a player who’s bad enough to be sent packing without a replacement. Working in his favor, Ducasse has played both left and right guard, which means he can be in the competition for two spots and could also be considered a valuable depth player as a result. Working against Ducasse is the fact that Buffalo has already slotted in Wyatt Teller ahead of him.

Ducasse doesn’t lack for power or athleticism, but little things prevent him from always rising to his potential. Athletically, Ducasse seems capable of blocking on the move, but often places himself in awkward scenarios. Ducasse’s strength lies in his, uh...strength. Put a man in front of Ducasse and dare him to go through the guard and you have a dependable blocker. Ducasse isn’t a mauler and shouldn’t be expected to always drive his opponent backwards. He is a solid anchor and will give the quarterback time to go to work.

The biggest factor could be Brian Daboll’s intended scheme. Daboll has gone on record as coveting a variable scheme, where linemen shift game-to-game among blocking concepts. Ducasse’s best asset is his ability to anchor. Beyond that, though, Ducasse struggles, which greatly diminishes his versatility. Is that enough to call it quits with Ducasse? It very well could be.

Salary cap info

(Read the entire article by Dylan Zadonowicz)

Ducasse’s contract is like a get-out-of-jail-free card. The numbers provided by Spotrac:

2019 cap hit: $2,083,334 million
Salary due: $2 million
Dead money from signing bonus: $83,334
Cap savings if cut: $2 million

In-house replacement options

(Read the entire article by John Boccacino)

Rookie Wyatt Teller, entering his second season, displayed a ton of promise in eight games (seven starts), allowing only eight quarterback pressures with no sacks and five committed penalties. The fifth-round draft pick proved himself capable in pass protection, though his run-blocking has room for improvement.

Jeremiah Sirles, who recently inked a one-year contract extension with Buffalo for the 2019 season, was active in 12 games (five starts) and saw time at both tackle and guard. He is a swingman who is expected to compete for a roster spot in training camp. He could start in a pinch but shouldn’t be handed the job.

Lastly, there’s Ike Boettger, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Iowa who spent the entire off-season, training camp and the pre-season with the Bills. After serving as Buffalo’s back-up right guard, he was released before the regular season. Boettger eventually released by the Kansas City Chiefs and claimed on waiver by the Bills and appeared in the team’s last four games.

Free agent replacement options

(Read the entire article from Sean Murphy)

Mark Glowinski
The 26-year old graded out as PFF’s 17th-best guard this season, earning a 69.8 overall grade on the year. His improved play was a big part of the reason that the Indianapolis Colts were able to keep quarterback Andrew Luck healthy. Buffalo’s new offensive line coach, Bobby Johnson, was on the Indy staff last year as assistant offensive line coach.

D.J. Fluker
The 28-year old Fluker graded poorly in PFF’s overall rankings (49.8 overall; guard No. 70); however, the outlet noted that he only allowed nine pressures in ten games this year. A huge negative is the number of penalties he committed last year—nine—which brought his career total to 43 penalties in 74 career games.

Rodger Saffold
The Los Angeles Rams will play in Super Bowl LIII in February, and it could be their veteran guard’s last game with the team. Saffold is 31 and coming off a season where PFF graded him as the seventh-best guard in the NFL, as he earned a 73.8 overall grade.

Ramon Foster
The veteran has been a dominant force on the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line since 2009. He has been remarkably durable, starting 14 games or more in every season since 2011. He has continued to perform at a high level despite his advanced age (Foster just turned 33), and PFF graded his play this year at a 69.1, which was sixteenth among all guards.

Matt Slauson
Another fantastic veteran, Slauson signed with the Colts this year and made it through 5 games before fracturing two vertebrae and landing on injured reserve. He was solid in his time in the lineup however, earning a 66.8 from PFF, which was the nineteenth-best score among guards. At 32 years old, he would be someone to sign to an incentive-laden deal. When he is healthy, he is still among the best guards in the league.

Andy Levitre
It won’t happen...would it? A reunion with Buffalo’s second-round draft pick from the 2009 NFL Draft would be something, but at 32, he seems to be on the decline, as he has had his season end prematurely each of the last two years due to triceps muscle tears.

2019 NFL Draft replacement options

(Read the entire article from Andrew Griffin)

Tier I

Cody Ford (Oklahoma)
Michael Deiter (Wisconsin)
Dalton Risner (Kansas State)

Tier II

Chris Lindstrom (Boston College)
Beau Benzschawel (Wisconsin)
Connor McGovern (Penn State)
Michael Jordan (Ohio State)
Garrett Brumfield (LSU)

Tier III

Ryan Bates (Penn State)
Dru Samia (Oklahoma)
Ben Powers (Oklahoma)

Short scouting reports on each draft-eligible player available in our feature-length article.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Now it’s your turn, Bills fans. Vote on what you think Buffalo should do with veteran guard Vlad Ducasse.

Poll

What should the Bills do at guard this offseason?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Start Ducasse & Teller, keep Sirles and Boettger as reserves
    (6 votes)
  • 18%
    Sign a free agent starter, keep Ducasse as a reserve
    (112 votes)
  • 12%
    Draft a starter, keep Ducasse as a reserve
    (73 votes)
  • 49%
    Sign a free agent, bye Ducasse
    (299 votes)
  • 18%
    Draft a rookie, bye Ducasse
    (111 votes)
601 votes total Vote Now