On Monday, the Buffalo Bills traded away offensive lineman Cody Ford to the Arizona Cardinals for a 2023 fifth round draft pick. When grading this move, there are essentially two ways to look at a deal like this.
On the one hand, the Buffalo Bills traded away their 2019 second round pick and it was a player that they actually traded up during the NFL Draft to select. That year, the Bills would trade their second round pick (40th overall) and a fifth-round pick to the Raiders to move up two spots to select the former University of Oklahoma offensive lineman at 38.
Certainly, it is disappointing to think that only three years after making that selection that the Bills would only be able to get a fifth round pick in return.
However, that way of looking at this trade is more of a criticism of the selection of Cody Ford and the move they had to make to draft him.
Grade for the Buffalo Bills trade of Cody Ford: B+
The other way to look at this trade, and the way I graded the move, is that Cody Ford had a number of opportunities to be a starter on this team. As a rookie, he was the team’s starting right tackle for most of the season before moving inside to guard the past two years.
His second season with the team was cut short due to an injury and then last year he didn’t improve. He would end up being benched after only three games and was primarily a backup from that point forward. That would have been the role this season for Ford if he had made the team’s 53-man roster, which was not a guarantee.
When considering Ford was entering the final year of his contract, the Buffalo Bills were not likely to re-sign him next offseason, so getting anything in return should be a win.
Earlier this offseason, the New England Patriots traded starting guard Shaq Mason to the Bucs for a 2022 fifth round pick. The fact Brandon Beane was able to get the same return on a player that didn’t factor into the long-term plans for the Buffalo Bills is a great move for this franchise.