The Buffalo Bills under general manager Brandon Beane have remained in a constant state of tinkering as it relates to their defensive line. While it shows that the team has yet to land on a combination it feels is truly great, it also shows that management is willing to continue changing personnel in the pursuit of perfection.
The Bills have generally had a “type” when it comes to signing defensive tackles, and those types fall into two categories: big, two-gapping run-stuffers, and more athletic, lighter penetrators. In some cases, those body type/role combinations overlap (see Phillips, Jordan), but any time we look at the Bills’ defensive tackles, it’s important to note that there are two different positions in there, even if the team lists them all as a generic “DT.”
In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we discuss one of those lighter, more athletic penetrating-types — a young player looking to make an impression in his first camp with the Bills.
Name: Kameron Cline
Height/Weight: 6’4”, 283 pounds
Age: 25 (26 on 2/19/2024)
College: South Dakota
Acquired: Claimed off waivers by Bills on 5/5/2023
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Cline enters the final year of the last contract he signed with the Colts. For the 2023 season, he carries a cap hit of $870,000 if he makes the team. No money on the contract is guaranteed.
2022 Recap: Cline spent most of the year on the Colts’ practice squad, though he was signed to the active roster on December 31. He was elevated to the active roster once prior. In all, he appeared in three games for the Colts last year, playing 12 defensive snaps. He made one tackle. In the preseason, Cline played two games, making three tackles and notching a sack.
Positional outlook: Cline will fight for looks with a pretty stacked defensive tackle group. The Bills have Ed Oliver, DaQuan Jones, Poona Ford, Jordan Phillips, Tim Settle, and Kendal Vickers in camp, all of whom have pretty significant NFL experience. Eli Ankou, Brandin Bryant, and Cortez Broughton all return from last season, with UDFA DJ Dale rounding out the group.
2023 Offseason: Cline is healthy and he has participated in offseason activities to date.
2023 Season outlook: While the Bills do like versatility in their linemen, it’s hard to see Cline cracking the roster given the amount of talent ahead of him. He probably isn’t big enough to handle consistently fighting in the trenches, nor is he bendy or speedy enough to warrant much time on the edge. He seems, at least to me, to be a classic ‘tweener who probably needs to add a little mass in order to have a shot. He’ll be worth a look for a spot on the practice squad, but barring a tremendously successful preseason, he likely has little shot at making the final roster.