Former Bills Lineman Blasts Team, Explains His Mysterious Exit

Quinton Spain

Getty Quinton Spain looks on during a game against the New England Patriots.

Quinton Spain isn’t exactly looking back fondly on his time with the Buffalo Bills.

As he prepares for a Super Bowl appearance with the Cincinnati Bengals, the veteran guard opened up about his time with the Bills and his mysterious exit just months after signing a three-year contract extension. Spain blasted the team, explaining that he felt they were ruining his career path.

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Spain Shares All

Speaking to reporters as part of the pre-Super Bowl media blitz, Spain was asked about the circumstances that led to his exit from the Bills before the 2020 season. As Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News noted, Spain started all 16 games for the Bills in 2019 and then signed a three-year extension worth up to $15 million the next offseason, but was released just seven weeks into the next season.

Spain explained that he was upset with the way the team had managed him and felt a disconnect with head coach Sean McDermott, which led him to ask for his release.

“The situation there was, me and McDermott, we didn’t see eye to eye,” he said. “I feel like they was trying to mess up my career so I was a man and asked them, ‘Can they release me so I can start over?’ At first, they didn’t want to do that, but at the end of the day they released me, so I’m happy they released me. I had an opportunity to go to Cincinnati and put my name back out there. It was a great decision that I made to better myself again. I’m happy I did it.”

Spain went on to say that he was unhappy after being benched for the Week 3 game against the Los Angeles Rams, when Brian Winters and Cody Ford filled in at his guard position.

“At the end of the day, I’m feeling like, ‘Why would you pay me that offseason, and then bench me because we didn’t have a preseason and you wanted to figure something out?’ ” Spain said.

Spain’s exit wasn’t exactly clean. As he explained, the Bills didn’t initially want to grant him a release, though ultimately relented and allowed him to get a fresh start.

“I still was a team player, helping out the guys in the locker room, but at the end it’s a business,” Spain said. “I know the NFL. It’s a business. I have a family. You have a family, so don’t mess up my opportunity to provide for my family.”

Bills Offensive Line Could See Upgrades

The Bills struggled to find a winning offensive line combination for much of the next year. Ford, the team’s second-round pick in 2019, started the 2021 season at right tackle but was benched midway through the year. There were a number of changes at the guard position, with Jon Feliciano losing the job to Ike Boettger and Ryan Bates taking over when Boettger was injured.

There will likely be more changes in the coming offseason, Sal Maiorana of the Democrat & Chronicle predicted. He noted that Feliciano is likely gone, as his less-mobile style doesn’t seem to fit the team’s offensive approach. He noted that the Bills could target some free agents, including five-time Pro Bowler Brandon Scherff or James Daniels of the Chicago Bears. The Bills have also brought in former offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, who could bring his own approach and preference for a line that saw a number of different combinations throughout the last season.

READ NEXT: Former Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick Goes Shirtless at Frigid Playoff Win

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