The Buffalo Bills have overhauled their offensive line this offseason, adding eight new players up front. The need for improvement in the trenches was obvious to anyone who watched the Bills last year, as their protection took a huge step backward after losing longtime starters Eric Wood and Richie Incognito (the team also jettisoned left tackle Cordy Glenn, but he had been injured for much of the 2017 campaign, so they had effectively replaced him already).
While the Bills clearly saw a need to add new faces to the offensive line group, they didn’t overlook some of the better contributors from their admittedly poor line last season. In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we profile one such holdover—a backup so versatile that he has experience essentially everywhere along the line.
Name: Jeremiah Sirles
Height/Weight: 6’6” 315 lbs.
Age: 27 (28 on 8/8/19)
Experience/Draft: 6; undrafted during the 2014 NFL Draft
Acquired: Re-signed with Buffalo on 1/16/19; originally signed with the team on 9/25/19
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Sirles signed a one-year deal worth a total of $805,000. Thanks to a veteran’s exception, he will only count $645,000 towards the 2019 salary cap. That contract contains zero guarantees, so the Bills can cut him prior to the start of the season without any penalty if they wish.
2018 Recap: Sirles appeared in 12 games for the Bills after signing in late September. While he officially made five starts, four of those were as a sixth offensive lineman lined up like a tight end. He started one game along the line—the Bills’ 21-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins on December 2. In that game, Sirles played 66 of the 138 snaps he saw all season on offense. He committed one penalty—a false start—and allowed half a sack on the year.
Positional outlook: Sirles joins a crowded field vying for position along the offensive line, but given his versatility, he has both more competition and a better chance at making the roster. At tackle, he has Dion Dawkins, Cody Ford, Ty Nsehke, LaAdrian Waddle, De’Ondre Wesley, and Conor McDermott to fend off for a spot. Offensive lineman Garrett McGhin is also primarily a tackle. The guards are Vladimir Ducasse, Jon Feliciano, Spencer Long, Ike Boettger, Wyatt Teller, and Quinton Spain. Mitch Morse and Russell Bodine are the centers.
2019 Offseason: Sirles has participated in all offseason activities when healthy; he missed the beginning of mandatory minicamp due to an undisclosed injury suffered during the third week of OTAs. He suffered that injury during the team portion of practice while filling in as the starting center.
2019 Season outlook: Sirles is an interesting player given his ability to play multiple spots along the line. It’s a pretty safe bet that he’ll make the 53-man roster and be one of the seven active offensive linemen on game day. Any time a team can have one player serve as a capable reserve at three different positions, the team will pounce on that opportunity. Consider his spot fairly safe unless he performs horribly in camp or is more seriously injured than we’ve been led to believe.