The Buffalo Bills offensive line was not very good in 2018. In the middle of that underwhelming group, the center position was a flip-flop of sorts and is even more wide open heading into 2019.
Ryan Groy opened the year snapping the ball, but was replaced after a couple games by free-agent signee Russell Bodine, who had started every game for four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. Bodine settled into his role and outperformed Groy until a leg injury forced Groy back into the starting lineup.
Heading into 2019, Groy is a free agent and Bodine should be recovered from his broken leg, while Buffalo has already signed Spencer Long to come in and seemingly fill the interior swing role. Should Buffalo bring back Groy as an insurance policy?
After shuffling, reshuffling, and shuffling the offensive line some more during the preseason, the Buffalo Bills’ starting center position went to Ryan Groy. He held it down for two weeks before Russell Bodine took over. A now freed-up Groy filled in at both guard spots and returned to center when Bodine was injured. Being replaced after only two weeks is never a good sign, but that versatility sure looks good. Let’s take a long look at the tape to get a handle on Ryan Groy.
Ryan Groy has a few excellent tools that you simply can’t teach. He also has a few bad habits that end up creating low-light reel plays. Groy was widely expected to be handed the starting center job based on some very good film he put out there when filling in for Eric Wood in the not-too-distant past. Toward the end of the year Groy started looking like the player that had everyone hopeful he could become the heir apparent to Wood. Groy even showed flashes as a temporary fill-in at the guard position.
With the offensive line such a large priority this offseason the Bills have an incredibly difficult decision to make regarding Ryan Groy. If Groy plays his best ball when he’s allowed to settle in at a position, the Bills would be wise to keep him around. Groy is able to translate his best skills to any spot on the interior, which could be incredibly valuable in allowing the Bills flexibility when looking for upgrades. Having said that, the addition of Spencer Long who could fill a similar jack-of-all-trades role could make Groy obsolete.
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 with little penalty. He gets a chance to come in and compete for a starting spot at either center of guard.
($1.5 million signing bonus)
The top option is the 29-year-old Paradis, who played for the Denver Broncos this season. A sixth-round draft pick of the Broncos in 2014, he has developed into one of the league’s top centers. PFF graded him at a 79 this year, the second-best grade of any center in the league. Like Bodine, Paradis had his season cut short due to a broken leg, as he was placed on injured reserve following Denver’s ninth game.
The pivot-man on the Kansas City Chiefs offensive line is the youngest of our three top targets at 26 years old. He is coming off a solid season in a high-flying offense—PFF graded him at 69.5, 13th among centers—and he has started 49 games over the last 4 seasons at center. Morse is gigantic for a center, standing at 6’6” inches tall. He committed 4 penalties this season (3 holds and a false start), and he did not allow a sack.
So now it’s your turn to weigh in. What should the Bills do with Ryan Groy this offseason?
What should the Bills do with Ryan Groy this offseason?
This poll is closed
Re-sign him to a two-year, $5 million contract
Try and re-sign him to a cheaper contract
Let him walk