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Contract projection: Buffalo Bills free agent offensive lineman Ryan Groy

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills have holes all over their offensive line. In 2018, they tried to fill one of them with center Ryan Groy, who took over as the first man in the lineup following the sudden departure of Eric Wood. Groy was sporadic in the beginning of the season and benched for veteran Russell Bodine. When Bodine broke his leg, Groy stepped back in and played better in his second stint.

With Groy entering free agency, Buffalo recently signed a man who plays a similar position when they added Spencer Long. A center/guard candidate who has the potential to start, it would seem like Groy is on the outside looking in as far as re-signing with the Bills.

If Buffalo were to re-sign him as an insurance option, what would the contract look like?

Comparable contracts

Russell Bodine
Buffalo Bills
Two years, $5 million ($2.15 million guaranteed)

If Buffalo signs Groy in addition to the Long move, it would be in order to move on from Bodine, so let’s start there. All of Bodine’s guaranteed money has been paid out, so that’s not a concern. He’s set to earn more than $2.3 million in roster bonus, workout bonus, and salary in 2019. If Buffalo gave less than that to Groy, they could save some coin.

Austin Reiter
Kansas City Chiefs
Two years, $4.5 million ($1 million signing bonus)

The same age as Groy, Reiter came to Kansas City to play in case Mitch Morse was injured. And he was. With one one start in his career prior to signing the contract, he didn’t need a lot of experience to get $2.5 million per season. He was a mi-season addition for the Chiegs in 2018, who gave him a contract extension two months later.

Tyler Larsen
Carolina Panthers
Two years, $4.3 million ($1.4 million signing bonus)

With 15 NFL starts, the Panthers signed Larsen to a contract extension as insurance in August 2018. He started three games are their primary interior reserve. That’s the going rate for players that aren’t expected to start.

Ryan Groy
Los Angeles Rams Buffalo Bills
Two years, $5 million ($3.5 million guaranteed)

Two years ago as a restricted free agent, Groy signed an offer sheet from the Rams. Buffalo matched the offer because they weren’t sure of the health and future of Eric Wood. When Wood signed a contract extension a few months later, that issue was settled.

Contract projection

I don’t consider this very likely with Long in the fold, but if Buffalo prefers Groy and his versatility to Bodine and his ability to play center only, I could see the appeal. In light of he contracts above, I’d think you would have to offer Groy more than Reiter and Larsen because he has more experience and more starts.

If Buffalo wants to release him in August, they can do so with little penalty. He gets a chance to come in and compete for a starting spot at either center of guard.

Two years,
$5 million
($1.5 million signing bonus)


Pro-rated signing bonus: $750,000
Salary: $1.4 million
Cap hit: $2.15 million


Pro-rated signing bonus: $750,000
Salary: $2.1 million
Cap hit: $2.85 million