Buffalo Bills: Number of guards rumored to be available continues to grow
The guard position has plenty of uncertainty for the Buffalo Bills with free agency right around the corner. The two starters at the end of the season, Jon Feliciano and Ike Boettger, are both free agents with Feliciano unrestricted and Boettger a restricted free agent. They also have Brian Winters, who was a starter earlier in the year, as an unrestricted free agent.
If the Bills elect to go in another direction or aren’t able to come to an agreement with these players, they are going to have plenty of options in the 2021 NFL Draft next month. However, the market for veteran guards has continued to grow as of late and there are a number of intriguing options that could step in as starters.
The first player this week was Las Vegas Raiders starting guard Gabe Jackson, who will be released according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson. Jackson was a third round pick by the Raiders in 2014 and became a starter as a rookie. He has remained in their starting lineup and has 99 career starters over the past seven seasons.
Gabe Jackson has excelled in pass protection as he didn’t allow a sack all season according to Pro Football Focus. However, when it comes to run blocking he struggles. This is something that the Bills want to improve this coming season so Jackson may not be the best fit here.
Then on Thursday, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora tweeted that the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars are trying to trade their starting guards Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Norwell.
As La Canfora notes, both players have significant salaries with Zeitler entering the final year of his contract with a cap hit of $14.5 million. As for Norwell, he has two years left on his contract with cap hits of $15 million this year and $16 million next year.
While the Buffalo Bills likely wouldn’t trade for either player because of the contracts, if they become free agents, both players could be excellent replacements if any of the starters from last year were to leave.
Then on Friday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that the Los Angeles Chargers were shopping former Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner.
While the Chargers likely would like to get something for Turner, it is hard to imagine teams trading for him at that salary. However, if he were to be released the Buffalo Bills would likely once again be interested in bringing him in.
The potential releases of Andrew Norwell and Trai Turner are probably the most interesting as both players have ties to the Carolina Panthers and Brandon Beane knows both very well. The Panthers drafted Turner in the third round of 2014 and also signed Norwell as an undrafted free agent that season, while Beane was part of their front office.
While none of these players have officially been released, if that does happen the Buffalo Bills are sure to take a close look at all these players and it wouldn’t be surprising if one was signed.