The Buffalo Bills needed talent along the offensive line in a big way, and they added plenty of new faces this offseason. Of the group that started most often last season, only left tackle Dion Dawkins projects as someone who is a favorite to retain his starting gig. As a result, the battles along the line for both starting and reserve roles should be fierce.
In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we profile one of Buffalo’s linemen who has bounced around a bit since entering the league in 2015.
Name: De’Ondre Wesley
Height/Weight: 6’6” 331 lbs.
Age: 26 (27 on 7/28/19)
Experience/Draft: 3; signed as UDFA with Baltimore Ravens following the 2015 NFL Draft
Acquired: Claimed off waivers on 5/22/19
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Wesley enters the first year of a two-year reserve/future deal he signed in January with the Indianapolis Colts. Given that Buffalo claimed him off waivers, they assumed responsibility for that contract, which is worth a total of $1.23 million. There are no guarantees in the deal, so he can be released at no cap penalty to the Bills if he does not make the 53-man roster. His cap hit for 2019 stands to be $570,000.
2018 Recap: Wesley began 2018 with the Bills, having signed a reserve/future contract with the team in January 2018 after spending the 2017 season as a member of the Bills’ practice squad. Wesley spent the 2018 offseason and preseason with Buffalo, and he participated in the team’s four preseason games before being waived as a part of final roster cut downs. The Bills signed him to their practice squad, but they released him on September 13. The Colts signed him to their practice squad on November 6, released him the following week, then re-signed him to their practice squad on December 5. Wesley did not appear in an NFL regular-season game in 2018.
Positional outlook: As was the case last year, the Bills list Wesley as a tackle, but he has primarily played guard this offseason. As such, his positional competition grows, since he will have to fend off not only tackles like Conor McDermott, Cody Ford, Dion Dawkins, Ty Nsekhe, LaAdrian Waddle, and Jeremiah Sirles, but also guards Spencer Long, Quinton Spain, Ike Boettger, Jon Feliciano, Wyatt Teller, and Vladimir Ducasse if he wants to make the final roster.
2019 Offseason: Wesley has participated in all offseason activities since the Bills claimed him in May. He lined up as the second-team left guard during mandatory minicamp in June.
2019 Season outlook: Wesley is with the Bills because they need depth due to some lingering injuries suffered during the spring and because he knows the system after spending last offseason with the team. It’s highly unlikely that he’ll make the final roster given the sheer amount of talent and dollars the Bills have along the offensive line. Perhaps the team will look to keep him on the practice squad again, but Wesley is probably auditioning for a spot on another roster if he wants to play in his first regular-season game since his rookie year in 2015.