The Buffalo Bills have some depth issues at center even after spending a boatload of cash at the position in the offseason. With Mitch Morse in concussion protocol, the team has had to test its depth quickly, and the early returns on some of the players have not been very good (see: Russell Bodine).
With two preseason games to go before the team starts to prepare in earnest for its September 8 opener at the New York Jets, the Bills still have time to iron out the depth chart along the offensive line. In today’s installment of “90 players in 90 days,” we profile one of the newly-signed players looking to catch on as a reserve.
Name: Demetrius Rhaney
Height/Weight: 6’2” 305 lbs.
Age: 27 (28 on 6/22/20)
College: Tennessee State
Acquired: Signed with Buffalo on 8/10/19
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Rhaney’s one-year deal with Buffalo is for the veteran’s minimum, $720,000, for someone with his level of experience. The contract contains no guarantees, so if he is released, the Bills won’t incur a cap penalty for doing so.
2018 Recap: Rhaney spent the majority of 2018 without a job. He began the year with Washington, but he was waived when the team cut down to 53 players on September 1. He remained unsigned until December 5 when Washington re-signed him, but he was waived once again a week later. He did play for the Memphis Express in the Alliance of American Football League in early 2019, and when that league folded, he signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League.
Positional outlook: As someone with experience playing center, Rhaney is not expected to compete for a starting gig given the contract Buffalo gave Morse. If Buffalo’s prized free agent misses more time than expected due to his fourth career documented concussion, then Rhaney has a better shot at making the roster. As of now, his primary competition includes Russell Bodine, Spencer Long, Jon Feliciano, Ike Boettger, Wyatt Teller, Quinton Spain, Garrett McGhin, and Ryan Bates.
2019 Offseason: Rhaney signed with the Tiger-Cats in May, and he started the team’s first game of the year at center. It was the only game he’d play with the club, as he spent the next month on the suspended list before being released. Since signing with Buffalo, he has participated in each practice.
2019 Season outlook: Rhaney has a chance to beat out Bodine after watching the latter’s dreadful performance against the Indianapolis Colts in Buffalo’s preseason opener, but if the rest of the interior linemen are at full health, it’s unlikely that he sticks. An interior line group of Morse, Spain, Feliciano, Long, and Teller is the probable top-five, and it’s doubtful that will change as the preseason unfolds.