While the focus was on the NFL Draft the past few days during the NFL Combine, the Buffalo Bills brought back a player from last year’s team. Offensive guard Ike Boettger was set to be a free agent but agreed to a new one-year deal to return to the Bills for the upcoming season.
Ike Boettger began his NFL career with the Buffalo Bills after he was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2018 and would primarily be a member of the practice squad in 2018 and 2019. However, beginning in 2020 he became a key part of the offensive line and appeared in 25 games over the next two seasons.
While he began the season as a backup, in both seasons he would be elevated to the starting lineup and started 17 games at guard. Unfortunately in 2021, he suffered a torn Achilles against the New England Patriots.
That injury would not only end that season but he wasn’t ready to return until late this past season. He would only play six offensive snaps in Week 15 against the Chicago Bears.
Free Agent Grade for the Buffalo Bills re-signing Ike Boettger: A
This is a move that seemed easy and made too much sense for both sides. The Bills re-signed Boettger last offseason even though he was unlikely to be able to play due to his injury and now that he is fully recovered, he can potentially have a prominent role in 2023.
Towards the end of the 2021 season, Boettger was playing excellent football and was a big reason the offensive line improved during that season. This upcoming season, Boettger at worst is a quality backup in a position that needs depth.
However, the potential is there for him to compete for a starting job and could end up being one of the best bargain moves this offseason for the Buffalo Bills.