The Buffalo Bills added plenty of girth to the middle of their defensive line over the last few years. However, after a big part of that line opted out of the 2020 NFL season, the team needed to make sure that they had enough bodies to fill in during the pandemic-altered year, and general manager Brandon Beane has committed plenty of resources to the defensive line.
Sometimes, Beane uses great financial resources to make those moves. Other times, he’s investing draft capital in the position. Occasionally, though, he makes simple waiver-wire claims to enhance the overall roster.
In today’s installment of our “90 players in 90 days” series, we profile a practice-squad player who will be fighting an uphill battle for a roster spot in 2021.
Name: Brandin Bryant
Height/Weight: 6’2” 305 lbs
Age: 27 (28 on 9/16/2021)
Acquired: Signed to practice squad on 9/17/2020
Financial situation (per Spotrac): First year of a two-year, $1.675 million contract; $780,000 cap hit ($0 dead-cap charge if cut)
2020 Recap: Bryant began the offseason with the Miami Dolphins, but he was released by the team prior to the regular season. In September, the Bills signed him to the practice squad. Bryant was elevated to the active roster for Buffalo’s Week 8 contest against the New England Patriots. Bryant played seven snaps on defense in that game, making one solo tackle on the afternoon. He reverted to the practice squad after the game, where he remained for the rest of the season.
Positional outlook: Bryant is one of seven defensive tackles on the current roster. Vernon Butler, Star Lotulelei, Ed Oliver, Justin Zimmer, Harrison Phillips, and Treyvon Hester are the other players at DT.
2021 Offseason: Bryant is healthy and he was not among the players listed as missing the first OTA of 2021.
2021 Season outlook: Bryant has the feel of a guy who is on the outside looking in, as the Bills should probably keep Butler, Lotulelei, Oliver, and either Zimmer or Phillips as the top-four on the inside. Given the fact that quite a few of Buffalo’s recently added edge rushers can kick inside in pass-rushing situations, it’s almost a certainty that the team keeps no more than four interior defensive linemen. Bryant is probably auditioning for another club or a spot on the practice squad again in 2021.