The Buffalo Bills aren’t just set to lose a number of interior offensive linemen. They also have two offensive tackles who will be free agents in 2021: Daryl Williams and Ty Nsekhe. So this team needs a starting right tackle and a swing tackle, and that could be addressed with other veteran free agents. So who might general manager Brandon Beane be looking for?
Let’s list off a few players who won’t qualify for this list. First are the clear-cut left tackles: players who don’t fit Buffalo’s intended role. That includes Trent Williams, Russell Okung, and Alejandro Villanueva. Then we have the players who clearly priced themselves away from Buffalo’s market. Taylor Moton, a bulldozing right tackle for the Carolina Panthers, qualifies—he’s projected to sign a deal in the neighborhood of five years, $75 million. The same goes for Cam Robinson—for one thing, though he has the body type and play style to fit as a right tackle, he’s primarily a blind-side defender. Second, he’s a former 34th overall pick and one of the youngest free agents available (as long as he isn’t handed a franchise tag). He’s projected for a contract of roughly $11 million or $12 million per year.
So keeping those players aside, here are the options that could work for the Bills to replace Williams and Nsekhe if that’s their choice.
A one-time waiver wire pickup by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Feiler fought his way into a starting role. He was an injury replacement at right tackle in 2018, locking down the position through the 2019 season. The Steelers used him as their starting left guard in the 2020 season.
Last year, Feiler played under a second-round restricted free-agent tender, for $3.3 million.
The most steadfast veteran in Buffalo’s price range would be Beachum, who has nine seasons of experience at both left tackle and right tackle. Beachum, who turns 32 this year, has started 115 games in his career. He played right tackle last season for the Arizona Cardinals, on a one-year, $1.2 million contract.
With nine seasons of experience, Remmers has played various guard and tackle roles during his time in the NFL. His stints with the Carolina Panthers and the Minnesota Vikings weren’t very successful—the Vikings cut him after two years of the five-year contract they signed with him. Playing RT with the Kansas City Chiefs this year, Remmers revived his career after Mitchell Schwartz suffered a season-ending injury. His play at right tackle helped the Chiefs make it to the Super Bowl—although his start at left tackle in place of Eric Fisher was a major reason they lost it. He played on a one-year, $1.2 million deal in 2020.
A former first-round pick, Ifedi accumulated 76 starts in five years. He’s played both RG and RT. Penalties were a huge problem for most of his career, with 47 committed in four seasons—that’s part of the reason he wasn’t offered a fifth year on his initial contract.
Instead, Ifedi played with the Bears for a one-year, $1.1 million contract in 2020. He took over for Bobby Massie as the team’s starting right tackle, and held up well in that role.
For most of his career, Fleming has been a backup right tackle, starting a handful of games each season as the top backup for the New England Patriots or Dallas Cowboys. This year, he was the starting right tackle for the New York Giants, and had a solid year (more because of run blocking than pass protection). He played under a one-year, $3.5 million contract in 2020.
With Hurst, you’re getting a versatile lineman who’s played on both sides of the line at guard and tackle. His seven-year career features 102 games and 49 starts. He played for $1.1 million last year. This isn’t the kind of player who would be an obvious starter, but he could work as a replacement for Ty Nsekhe.
Tevi, a 6’5” 315-lb former sixth-round pick, has started 43 games in the past three seasons. He hasn’t exactly netted rave reviews in those starts—like how Sports Info Solutions charged him with 13 sacks allowed in 2018—but his 2020 season was less bad, and he could work as a low-cost stopgap a la Jordan Mills.
There are plenty of players available if you want a backup tackle. That list includes Kendall Lamm, Roderick Johnson, David Sharpe, and Ty Sambrailo. These players haven’t started enough games in their career to be trusted as a plug-and-play starter for the Bills. Joe Haeg spent two years as a starting right tackle, but was relegated to backup duty the last couple seasons. Same goes for Cedric Ogbuehi, who’s started four games in the last three years. Le’Raven Clark has 15 career starts in 47 games played, and experience at both guard and tackle, but he tore his Achilles tendon late in 2020. Julie’n Davenport has had some starting experience, but pretty much exclusively at left tackle. Cameron Erving has played center, guard, and tackle in his career, though most recently at left tackle. A knee sprain ended his season after six games.
Who would you want the Bills to sign at right tackle?
This poll is closed
Daryl Williams or Ty Nsekhe
- All-22 analysis of Darryl Williams’s 2020 season
- All-22 analysis of Ty Nsekhe’s 2020 NFL season
- Contract projection for Darryl Williams
- Contract projection for Ty Nsekhe
- Can Cody Ford, Trey Adams step into the right tackle role?
- Free-agent options available at right tackle for Buffalo
- 2021 NFL Draft: Right tackle options
- Opinion: Bills should take several steps to secure the right tackle position this offseason