Long signed a three-year contract, the team announced. He was originally drafted by the Washington Redskins in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played in Washington for four seasons, making 31 starts. He signed with the Jets last season, starting 13 games for Gang Green in the interior offensive line.
Long has experience at both center and guard, giving him the kind of versatility that the Bills crave with their offensive linemen. If the team is looking at him as a starter, his performance last year left plenty to be desired. Pro Football Focus graded Long at 45.4, which ranked 37th among all centers who were graded last season.
The Bills had used Ryan Groy as an interior backup for the last few seasons, and the veteran was pressed into duty last year at center when starter Russell Bodine suffered a broken leg. With Groy’s contract set to expire, this very well could be a move made to replace him as a backup.
Long was a free agent thanks to an early roster bonus in his contract that would have paid him on the third day after the Super Bowl, not the standard language around the start of the league year in March.
The Bills also announced that reserve cornerback/special teams mainstay Lafayette Pitts signed a one-year deal to stay with the team. Contract details were not immediately available for either player.