The Buffalo Bills appear set to add free-agent offensive tackle Brandon Shell to the team’s roster, according to ESPN reporter Jeremy Fowler. While a deal hasn’t been finalized, Fowler tweeted that things are “trending that way.” Shell has been linked to the Bills since early in free agency.
Free agent OT Brandon Shell plans to sign with the #Bills, per source. Not done but trending that way. Shell played valuable starter’s snaps for Miami last season, now set to stay in AFC East.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) May 29, 2023
Shell appeared in 13 games (making 11 starts) with the Dolphins last season. In those games, Shell played 761 offensive snaps and allowed two sacks while being penalized four times, per Pro Football Focus.
The seven-year NFL veteran will look to continue his career with the Buffalo Bills during the 2023. Shell’s signing is likely one to help bolster depth, given the team’s focus investment already among the entire unit in free-agent guards Connor McGovern, David Edwards, and Kevin Jarvis. Additionally, Buffalo drafted guards O’Cyrus Torrence (Round 2) and Nick Broeker (Round 7) in the 2023 NFL Draft. Following April’s draft, the team added offensive tackles Richard Gouraige and Noah Henderson through undrafted free agency (UDFA).
Despite those additions, it’s arguable that One Bills Drive hasn’t made meaningful moves to add competition at tackle, where right tackle Spencer Brown struggled as a starter in 2022. It is worth noting that Brown was likely far less than 100% last season following a season-ending injury in 2021. Left tackle Dion Dawkins had a bit of a down season in 2022, but his role as a starter is unquestioned. Behind Dawkins and Brown are David Quessenberry, Tommy Doyle, Alec Anderson, and Ryan Van Demark — plus aforementioned UDFAs Gouraige and Henderson. Given Shell’s wealth of experience as a starter, the potential exists for him to play a significant role for the Bills this coming season.