The Buffalo Bills have devoted plentiful resources to overhauling their defensive line as a whole. The edge group, in particular, will look quite different this season, but the interior line also features some new faces.
While some of Buffalo’s additions on the line have been of the high-profile variety, the team has also signed some under-the-radar types to compete for a spot during training camp. At worst, those players have the chance to audition for another team’s roster with a strong showing in the preseason—presuming, of course, that the league has the chance to hold those games given current circumstances.
In today’s installment of our “91 players in 91 days” series, we profile one of the “fringe” players in the defensive end group.
Name: Jonathan Woodard
Height/Weight: 6’5”, 271 lbs.
Age: 26 (27 on 9/19/2020)
Experience/Draft: 4; selected in the seventh round (No. 226 overall) by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2016 NFL Draft
College: Central Arkansas
Acquired: Signed to Bills’ practice squad on 1/1/2020; signed reserve/future contract on 1/6/2020
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Woodard’s two-year deal is worth $1.67 million, none of which is guaranteed. If he makes the roster in 2020, his salary-cap hit is $750,000.
2019 Recap: Woodard was on the Miami Dolphins’ roster for nearly the entire 2019 season. He was waived with an injury designation in August 2019 due to an undisclosed injury, and he reverted to the injured reserve list after clearing waivers. Miami released him from IR on December 24—talk about terrible timing—and he signed with Buffalo the following week.
Positional outlook: Woodard finds himself in a crowded positional group, as the Bills currently have eight defensive ends on the roster when they have kept four over the last few years. The other ends are Trent Murphy, Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison, A.J. Epenesa, Darryl Johnson, Bryan Cox Jr., and Mike Love.
2020 Offseason: Nothing new to report here.
2020 Season outlook: Woodard is more than likely a camp body, as the Bills have sunk a considerable amount of capital, both in terms of cash and draft choices, into the defensive end spot. If Buffalo does choose to go with five defensive ends, forgoing a release of Murphy, then it’s likely between Love and Johnson for that fifth spot, leaving Woodard on the outside looking in any way you slice it.