The Buffalo Bills signed Quinton Spain in early April of 2019, weeks after signing their other core free agents. Still, Spain eventually won the starting left guard job and played there throughout camp, preseason, and the regular season, barely missing a snap. He was a great find for the team, but that doesn’t mean they should be beholden to re-signing him.
Like the argument against signing defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, it comes down to opportunity cost and actual dollars. The Bills need to give a big paycheck to left tackle Dion Dawkins in the very near future and they’ve already given one to center Mitch Morse. Giving another one to the guy between them is a bit rich.
If Spain agrees to come back for one year and $2 million like he did in 2019, I would sign that in a heartbeat. He’s a solid player I want on my team at the right price. I just think he’s going to get more money than that. The top 32 guards make more than $5.3 million per season with the top 50 all over $2.5 million per season. (Spain was 52nd in 2019.)
There is also another much more important thing, as well. What is the future of 2019 second rounder Cody Ford? If the Bills want to move Ford inside, they aren’t going to replace Morse and Jon Feliciano was outstanding in 2019 and cheaper than what Spain is likely to command on the open market. Ford was a high pick for general manager Brandon Beane, and they are going to give him every chance to succeed. If that means a move to guard, then passing on a Spain extension makes a ton of sense. Then some combination of Dawkins, Morse, Feliciano, Ford, and Ty Nsekhe would be your starting five in 2020.
If and only if Buffalo doesn’t want to move Ford, Spain becomes an option. Even then, he could price himself out of the Bills’ offensive line room.
- 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