The fate of the Buffalo Bills’ offensive line keeps getting foggier. On Wednesday, the team announced that they’ve released offensive guard Quinton Spain. The move came as a bit of a surprise, with the team juggling multiple injuries in their unit. Offensive guard Cody Ford (who usurped Spain’s starting role) is “week-to-week” with a knee injury, one that saw him carted from the sidelines to the locker room on Monday. Jon Feliciano, who tore his pectoral in the preseason, could be activated from injured reserve, but the team hasn’t taken action yet (possibly out of a cagey desire for competitive advantage). Not to mention, Spain had missed the past two games with a foot injury of his own.
With Spain gone and Ford out, the Bills may activate Feliciano to play left guard. If he’s not ready, they’ll turn to Ike Boettger, who filled in against the Kansas City Chiefs when Ford suffered his injury.
The Bills certainly weren’t getting enough out of their offensive line, being one of the worst run-blocking teams in the league this year, but a subtraction without an addition is a curious move.
In 2019, Spain was Buffalo’s iron man at left guard, starting every single snap at the position. His play was steady, not standout, but the Bills saw fit to re-sign him with a three year, $15 million deal in the offseason. Not even halfway through the season, though, the Bills are cutting bait.
With a base salary of $2.25 million and various bonuses, Spain had a $4.75 million cap hit this year. Thanks to various guarantees, Spain still incurs $4.5 million in dead cap after his release, but the team will save roughly $4 million to $5million in 2021 and 2022 with his release.