The Buffalo Bills return their entire starting offensive line from the 2019 season, plus the team’s top four reserves in terms of overall snap count. In short, the Bills could very easily go into the 2020 regular season with the exact same offensive line grouping that they had last season.
That isn’t a guarantee, however, as general manager Brandon Beane has added competition at both the guard and tackle positions. Just because a player signed with the Bills this offseason doesn’t necessarily mean that player will make the roster, either, as Beane has a penchant for flipping reserve offensive linemen for draft capital when he has the chance.
In today’s installment of our “91 players in 91 days” series, we profile one of Buffalo’s returning reserve offensive linemen.
Name: Ike Boettger
Height/Weight: 6’6”, 313 lbs.
Age: 25 (26 on 10/4/2020)
Experience/Draft: 2; signed as undrafted free agent with Buffalo following 2018 NFL Draft
Acquired: Claimed off waivers from Kansas City Chiefs on 9/12/2018
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Boettger enters the 2020 season in the final year of his three-year rookie contract, a pact that totals $1.7 million in value. If he makes the 53-man roster, Boettger will count $750,000 against the salary cap. None of the money in his contract is guaranteed.
2019 Recap: Boettger made Buffalo’s opening-day roster in 2019 after failing to do so the year prior. After his week-long sojourn with the Chiefs in 2018, Boettger has appeared in six games in Buffalo over the last two seasons. Last year, he was only active for two games. He appeared on 54 offensive snaps, all of which came in Buffalo’s regular-season finale against the New York Jets.
Positional outlook: Boettger finds himself in the midst of a solid competition for a reserve spot, as the Bills added Evan Boehm and Daryl Williams via free agency, each of whom has more experience at guard than Boettger does. Buffalo’s other guards are Marquel Harrell, Quinton Spain, Jon Feliciano, and Spencer Long, with Garrett McGhin and Ryan Bates both listed as “offensive linemen.”
2020 Offseason: Nothing new to report.
2020 Season outlook: The coaching staff clearly likes Ike, as they probably planned to add him to their practice squad in 2018 before the Chiefs swooped in to claim him on waivers. They’ve kept him on the active roster since, but barring a trade (or two) or an injury (or two), Boettger appears to be on the outside looking in this year, as I’d expect Williams and Boehm to make the final cut before Boettger does. The team may look to sneak him onto their practice squad this year if they still feel he can be a help in the future.