Buffalo Bills sign versatile offensive lineman Greg Van Roten

Greg Van Roten, New York Jets (Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
Greg Van Roten, New York Jets (Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Buffalo Bills are set to kick off their minicamp on Tuesday but that didn’t stop them from trying to add more talent to their roster this week. On Monday, the team announced they had signed veteran offensive lineman Greg Van Roten.

He has spent the past two years with the New York Jets and prior to that was a starter with the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers were the team where he got his first chance to be a full-time starter in his career and he started all 16 games in 2018 at guard.

Since that year he has started double-digit games each season, primarily at guard. However, he does have some experience at center and could be a valuable veteran presence backing up Mitch Morse. Currently, the Bills don’t have an experienced player to back up their starting center with Greg Mancz their other option but he has only started five games over the past three seasons.

Buffalo Bills create a key training camp battle by signing Greg Van Roten

In addition to Mancz, the signing of Van Roten creates serious competition for Cody Ford, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Ford was a second round pick by the Buffalo Bills in 2019 but hasn’t been able to secure either starting guard spot the past two years due to injuries and inconsistent performance.

Entering this season, he was likely competing for the third guard spot behind Rodger Saffold, who was signed as a free agent, and Ryan Bates, who the Bills brought back by matching the four-year contract offer from the Chicago Bears.

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The addition of Van Roten, along with the signing of David Quessenberry earlier this offseason, now creates an interesting training camp battle between these three players. The fact that Van Roten does have the experience at center along with his starting experience, should make him the favorite to win this spot.