The Buffalo Bills have a loaded wide receiver corps, complete with a first-team All-Pro, three players with more than 450 career catches, some young talent, and the reigning MVP’s favorite ex-teammate. Mixed in among that group, though, are some old friends of quarterback Josh Allen.
When building around a quarterback, a general manager has to consider so many things in constructing the roster. The most important things that relate directly to the quarterback, though, are his protection and his weapons. Who’s blocking? Who’s catching? If you can answer those questions with talented players, then the quarterback has a chance. If you can answer those questions with enough talented players that it’s already known that some of those guys are going to end up playing on other rosters? Then your team is primed for a deep playoff run.
In today’s installment of “90 players in 90 days,” we focus on one of Josh Allen’s college teammates—a scrappy wideout looking to stick in Orchard Park.
Name: Tanner Gentry
Height/Weight: 6’2” 209 lbs
Age: 26 (27 on 12/18/2021)
Experience/Draft: 1; signed with the Chicago Bears following the 2017 NFL Draft
Acquired: Signed with Bills’ practice squad on 1/4/2021
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Gentry signed a reserve/futures contract upon the conclusion of Buffalo’s season in late January. That contract goes for two years at a total value of $1.675 million. For the 2021 season, Gentry carries a cap hit of $780,000 if he makes Buffalo’s roster. The Bills can release him without a dead-cap charge.
2020 Recap: Gentry was out of the NFL in 2020, spending the season with the New York Guardians of the XFL. He was placed on injured reserve with the team in January 2020 and activated in late February of the same year. When the league suspended operations in April 2020, Gentry was released from his contract. He last appeared with an NFL club in 2019, when the Chicago Bears waived him as part of their final cutdowns on August 31.
Positional outlook: Gentry joins a crowded field at receiver that includes Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders, Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, Isaiah McKenzie, Jake Kumerow, Isaiah Hodgins, Brandon Powell, Duke Williams, Marquez Stevenson, and Lance Lenoir.
2021 Offseason: Gentry is healthy and he has participated in all team activities this offseason.
2021 Season outlook: Even with his college connection to Allen, Gentry has little chance of making the final roster. The Bills are just too deep at wideout, as it looks like they may be cutting two recent draft choices in Stevenson and Hodgins thanks to strong showings from McKenzie and Kumerow. Gentry’s best bet is a spot on the practice squad, although a strong preseason could lead to him landing on another roster.