The Buffalo Bills have some important decisions to make about their 11 remaining free agents, and in an article published on ESPN.com, NFL reporter Field Yates proclaimed that the future of guard John Miller represents the Bills’ biggest free agent decision this offseason.
Improving the offensive line, which Pro Football Focus ranked as the 26th-best offensive line in football last year, certainly will be a major focal point for general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott.
The Bills are faced with major questions along the offensive line, especially at the two guard positions, where Buffalo received below-average play from Miller (right guard) and Vladimir Ducasse (left guard). Combined, this unit finished with the next-to-last grade in PFF’s run-blocking grades.
Miller has mostly been the team’s starter at right guard since being drafted out of Louisville in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, appearing in 47 games (all starts) over his four years in Western New York. Miller, who is an unrestricted free agent, started 28 games over his first two seasons, found himself on the bench under offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, then was back in the starting lineup under offensive coordinator Brian Daboll—making 15 starts and allowing only one sack and four penalties in 2018.
Here’s what Yates had to say about Buffalo’s biggest free-agency decision and what he would do if he were Buffalo’s general manager:
“When McDermott and Beane were hired, the vision for the Bills’ future called for a roster build. A surprise run to the playoffs in 2017 was exhilarating, but also ahead of schedule. The Bills now enter an offseason in the healthiest place during the McDermott/Beane tenure: equipped with cap space (estimated around $82 million), a young quarterback and a rock-solid defense. Miller is a fine player; he showed strides in 2018 and can be a starter. Ideally, however, he’d be a depth-level player along your line who can start in a pinch. Verdict: Re-sign Miller to a modest deal.”
In my humble opinion, on this unstable line that has lost a ton of starters over the last two seasons (C Eric Wood, LG Richie Incognito, and LT Cordy Glenn from 2017 and most likely C Ryan Groy, LG Ducasse, and RT Jordan Mills from 2018), re-signing Miller to a low, mutually-agreed upon two-year extension might be the wise move.
Miller has proven himself to be somewhat capable when he’s on the field, and if the price is right (a two-year contract in the neighborhood of $5 million sounds about right to me), I would welcome Miller returning to an offensive line in dire need of improved play.