Buffalo Bills left guard Quinton Spain is a pending free agent, and with that, the team will need to re-sign him or replace him. If they want to shift around their current offensive line a bit, they do have options for replacing him that are already under contract in 2020.
The biggest question mark is where they see Cody Ford’s future. Ford, originally drafted by the Bills to be a right tackle, was projected by many as a guard at the NFL level due to some suspect lateral abilities. The team saw fit to platoon him at RT with veteran Ty Nsekhe until Nsekhe was injured. Ford performed admirably with the veteran on the sideline, but Nsekhe was back to platooning when he returned.
If they moved Ford inside to guard, it could shore up the hole left by the departure of Spain. With Nsekhe under contract for one more season, it could allow Ford to continue to develop or they could draft another tackle option to develop.
They could also consider plugging in Spencer Long, who has a long history of starting on the interior offensive line in the league. He was Buffalo’s primary interior backup in 2019 and has a hefty salary for that role, but could fit in well at one of the guard spots. Buffalo has had a year to evaluate him in the practice setting and during his spot duty.
Ryan Bates is another name to consider. Bates played offense in two games for the Bills in 2019 in spot duty at tackle, not guard. Buffalo traded for him in August after he was an undrafted free agent signing of the Philadelphia Eagles. I’m not ready to hand him the keys to a starting job without some competition.
Ike Boettger has some game experience, though all of his snaps in 2019 came in Week 17’s meaningless season finale. It would be a pretty big leap from inactive on game day to starting offensive lineman.
If the Bills moved Ford to guard, they could just carry the exact same interior offensive linemen as last year as reserve options.
- All-22 Analysis: Quinton Spain was solid on the move in 2019
- Contract projection: Quinton Spain will look for a raise in 2020 and beyond
- Cody Ford is a logical in-house candidate to replace Quinton Spain
- Lots of free agent guards for Bills to choose from
- List of guards the Bills could add in the 2020 NFL Draft
- Opinion: Spain is solid, but Bills should move on from the veteran this offseason