The Buffalo Bills have released veteran offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles, agreeing to an injury settlement with the versatile tackle.
Sirles, 27, came to Buffalo by way of the Carolina Panthers last season. Signed prior to the team’s Week 3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, Sirles slotted in as the team’s sixth offensive lineman/swing tackle for the 2018 season. Overall, he played on 138 offensive snaps, 66 of which came as the starting right guard in Buffalo’s 21-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Sirles signed a one-year extension with Buffalo back in January, and he was expected to compete for a job as a backup offensive lineman yet again. However, general manager Brandon Beane added multiple offensive linemen via free agency (Spencer Long, Jon Feliciano, Ty Nsekhe, Quinton Spain) and the draft (Cody Ford) that made Sirles’ roster spot far more tenuous.
Last week, it was reported that Buffalo had placed Sirles on injured reserve due to a foot injury suffered during OTAs. By reaching an injury settlement with Sirles, that means that the team has chosen to compensate him at a prorated portion of his contract rather than flat-out releasing him. In the case of a player like Sirles, who was injured while performing football duties but whose contract contained no guarantees, this allows him to be paid while he recovers from the injury, then he can latch on with another team. It’s the same scenario in which the Bills acquired Sirles, as he was released from the Panthers’ IR list with an injury settlement last September 6.
Buffalo now has 14 offensive linemen in camp, down from 16. In addition to losing Sirles, the team also lost guard Issac Asiata, who retired on July 30.