The NFL trade deadline lurks just beyond the horizon on Tuesday, November 2, at 4 p.m. ET, which means the clock is ticking on teams looking to fill some gaps for the second half of the season.
The Buffalo Bills don’t have any glaring needs on their roster, but there’s always room to add further depth and talent. While head coach Sean McDermott isn’t expected to be actively shopping any of his players, other teams will likely be calling him to make a deal.
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The Athletic‘s Mike Sando pointed out that the Los Angeles Chargers “need a lineman,” and while the franchise rarely gets involved with trades, head coach Brandon Staley should focus his attention on obtaining Bills’ guard Cody Ford.
After the Chargers lost Oday Aboushi to a season-ending injury, they need an experienced lineman to help protect quarterback Justin Herbert. Because Ford has slipped from the starting lineup to the bench since the 2021 NFL season started, the Bills would likely be open to trading the 24-year-old lineman for maybe a late-round pick.
An exec told The Athletic, “Hard to find a guard-tackle. Cody Ford has played guard and tackle. He was a healthy scratch against Kansas City, played very limited snaps against Houston. Started the first three games, has battled some injuries.”
There’s also the issue of Ford’s salary. The Oklahoma alum signed a 4-year $7.5 million contract with the Bills after he was drafted in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
“It just takes one team, but a couple cap analysts thought moving big-money players could be difficult,” Sando noted. Another exec told him that “it will be hard unless they are really good. Carolina gave up a sixth in 2023 for Stephon Gilmore. That is all New England could get for him because there aren’t that many teams that could take on $7 million.”
“All it takes is an empowered head coach or GM to be desperate enough, and teams can figure out ways to do the improbable,” Sando wrote.
The Bills Replaced Ford With Right Tackle Spencer Brown
Offensive lineman Spencer Brown, whom the Bills drafted in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, has taken over at right tackle since Ford was benched. The 23-year-old has appeared in all of the Bills games thus far this season but was granted his first-ever start against the Houston Texans in Week 4.
Brown stepped in for Ford, who was taken out of the starting lineup after allowing 11 pressures against the Washington Football Team in Week 3, and proved that he was able to step up to the plate.
In the first quarter, he took down a Texans defender which cleared the path for Allen to complete a long pass to wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Allen was also impressed by Brown’s first-ever start.
“I think he handled it like a pro,” Allen said. “He’s a guy that pops off the tape his effort, his attitude, I’m extremely glad we drafted him. He’s a special player and I have a lot of faith in him.”
Buffalo Is ‘Expected’to Get Calls on Their Deep Defensive Line,’ per ESPN
With the Bills’ depth at cornerback, ESPN‘s Jeremy Fowler reported that the Buffalo is “expected” to get offers for several members of their defensive line.
“The team has used draft capital on promising edge players Greg Rousseau, AJ Epenesa, and Boogie Basham in recent years, which could make their veterans attractive at the deadline, such as Jerry Hughes, Efe Obada or Mario Addison.
“Hughes is an interesting case because of his salary ($6.1 million), age (33) and production (0.5 sacks),” Fowler wrote. “Those aren’t very enticing numbers. But he has been solid, and Buffalo plays him a lot (54 snaps in the Week 5 win over Kansas City). Perhaps the Bills hold on to the experienced rusher for the late-season stretch.”
As for Addison, he’s “owed $4.075 million this year. He has one sack and two quarterback hits through the season’s first month. Efe Obada is a cheaper rotational guy at $1 million.”