The Buffalo Bills have a fairly well-established pecking order at defensive tackle, or so it would appear, heading into the 2019 NFL season. The team has four clearly defined players who will take the majority of snaps in training camp, and it appears set which pair of those players will start and which will play as primary reserves.
Of course, the team can’t go through training camp and the preseason with only four players along the interior defensive line, so they had to make some additions to limit snaps for those whom they wish to keep healthy until September comes and the real action begins. That leaves the players on the outside looking in to battle for spots on the practice squad or to audition for jobs elsewhere through their play this summer.
In today’s installment of our “90 players in 90 days” series, we profile one such player, a young defensive tackle looking to show well enough to provide an opportunity for himself down the line.
Name: Quindarius Thagard
Height/Weight: 6’4” 290 lbs.
Age: 23 (24 on 12/5/19)
Experience/Draft: R; UDFA signed with Buffalo in 2019
Acquired: Signed with Buffalo as undrafted free agent on 5/12/19
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Thagard’s three-year deal is a standard pact for undrafted rookies, as it will pay him a total of $1,755,000 over the life of the deal if he were to play it out the whole way. His 2019 cap number stands at $495,000 with no money guaranteed.
2018 Recap: Thagard’s senior year at UAB was his most productive. He started all 12 games for the Blazers, amassing 37 tackles on the season. He had seven tackles for loss, four sacks, and one pass breakup for the Blazers last year.
Positional outlook: Thagard is clearly in the bottom three at the defensive tackle spot, a group that also includes Kyle Peko and Robert Thomas. All three of those players will fight for a spot on the practice squad behind presumed starters Ed Oliver and Star Lotulelei, and presumed reserves Jordan Phillips and Harrison Phillips. If one of the top four is injured, then there would be room for another player; however, if they make it to the regular season at full health, then it’s improbable the team will keep five defensive tackles on the 53-man roster.
2019 Offseason: Aside from noting his signing, little has been written about Thagard this offseason.
2019 Season outlook: While he may be the player voted “most likely to lend his name to a Game of Thrones character,” Thagard is not likely to stand alone among the seven defensive tackles on Buffalo’s roster. He is battling for a practice-squad spot at best this summer.