The Buffalo Bills have done a great job stacking their offensive line with NFL-caliber talent this offseason and throughout the tenure of general manager Brandon Beane. By doing so, they make the competition for roster space interesting, but in a good way.
At one point in the not-too-distant past, Bills fans were left debating the merits of starting players like Duke Preston, Bennie Anderson, or Melvin Fowler. Now, those players wouldn’t even sniff the starting lineup.
That doesn’t mean that the Bills have a litany of All-Pro players on the roster. They definitely have some camp bodies hanging around, as the team can’t expect to rest its studs, reserves, and “trade-bait worthy” players without having a few players around who probably won’t make the roster. Such is life in the NFL.
In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we profile one of the longest of long shots to make the 2021 Bills roster.
Name: Tyler Gauthier
Height/Weight: 6’5” 300 lbs
Age: 24 (25 on 6/29/2022)
Experience/Draft: 1; signed with the New England Patriots following the 2019 NFL Draft
Acquired: Signed with Bills on 7/30/2021
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Gauthier signed a one-year contract worth a total of $780,000 in July. There is no guaranteed money on the contract, so Buffalo can release him at any time without owing a dead-cap charge.
2020 Recap: Gauthier, who signed with the Patriots as a UDFA following the 2019 NFL Draft, was subsequently released by the Pats prior to the 2019 season, but he signed to their practice squad in October of that year. He spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019, and he spent most of the 2020 offseason with the team. Jacksonville released him on August 8, and then New England re-signed him on August 12. He did not make the Patriots’ final roster, as he was waived on September 5. On September 16, Gauthier signed to the Miami Dolphins’ practice squad. He was not elevated to the main roster and did not appear in any contests. Miami waived him in July 2021.
Positional outlook: Gauthier is one of two true centers on the roster, with Mitch Morse being the other. Guard Jon Feliciano also plays center, as does Jack-of-All-Trades Ryan Bates. Gauthier also has experience at guard, albeit limited experience, as he started four games at left guard during his sophomore year at Miami. Buffalo’s other interior offensive linemen are Cody Ford, Jamil Douglas, Forrest Lamp, Ike Boettger, Syrus Tuitele, Steven Gonzalez, Jordan Devey, and Marquel Harrell.
2021 Offseason: Gauthier signed with Buffalo less than a week ago, and he has been working at camp ever since.
2021 Season outlook: Gauthier (pronounce GOTH-year, which really threw me for a loop given my expectation of a French pronunciation) has little realistic chance of breaking camp with the team, though they could consider him for the practice squad. Most likely, though, he’ll be in search of another squad come September.