The Buffalo Bills love to stockpile versatile veteran offensive linemen in the offseason. At best, those players can fill multiple reserve roles on game days, limiting the number of linemen the team has to carry on the active roster. At worst, those players serve either as valuable insurance or as trade chips to acquire late-round draft choices.
In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we discuss one of those versatile veterans — a center-guard hybrid with 65 games — and 32 starts — under his belt.
Name: Greg Mancz
Height/Weight: 6’4”, 302 pounds
Age: 31 (32 on 4/23/2024)
Acquired: Signed with Bills’ practice squad on 1/19/2023
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Mancz signed a reserve/futures deal with the Bills upon the conclusion of the 2022 NFL season, a pact worth $1.165 million. Of that total, just $4,500 is guaranteed. The latter number represents the dead-cap charge Buffalo will carry if Mancz is released prior to the start of the season. If he makes the roster, he carries a cap hit of $944,500. As a vested veteran, his entire base salary ($1.165 million) becomes guaranteed if he’s on the roster for the first game of the year.
2022 Recap: Mancz signed a free-agent contract with Buffalo last March, spending the entire offseason with the club. He was released at the end of August as part of Buffalo’s final cutdowns, but Buffalo signed him to the practice squad immediately thereafter. He was elevated for one game with Buffalo, their Week 3 contest in a broiler against the Miami Dolphins. He played 23 offensive snaps in that one, as the Bills used everyone (except the backup quarterback) on the active roster at some point thanks to injuries and heat illness. Mancz remained on Buffalo’s practice squad until November 17, when he was released. The Cleveland Browns signed him on November 23, but he was released on December 23 without appearing in a game. He signed with the Minnesota Vikings on January 3, and he played in the Vikings’ final regular-season game on special teams. The Vikings released him on January 14, and he was re-acquired by Buffalo on January 19.
Positional outlook: Mancz is listed as an offensive lineman, but he’s both a center and a guard, so he’ll be competing with the other interior offensive linemen for a roster spot. The other players in his positional group include Mitch Morse, David Edwards, Connor McGovern, Ryan Bates, O’Cyrus Torrence, Kevin Jarvis, Ike Boettger, and Nick Broeker. Tommy Doyle is listed as a tackle, but he played some guard last year, and David Quessenberry is listed as both a tackle and a guard.
2023 Offseason: Mancz is healthy and participating in offseason work to date.
2023 Season outlook: Mancz’s chances at a roster spot increase thanks to his ability to play center, but the Bills didn’t use him there last season, opting to use Greg Van Roten at center instead. With increased talent at guard this season, it’s possible that the team may even use last year’s starter at guard, Bates, as a reserve center option to slide Edwards or Torrence into the starting lineup. I’m not sure how it’s going to shake out, but unless there are injuries, it’s not going to involve Mancz as a starter, and I doubt that it involves him making the final roster, either. He’s absolutely a practice squad candidate, but he’s probably not going to make the 53-man roster.