Bills Urged to Cut or Trade Former 2nd Round Pick Before Season Starts

Cody Ford

Getty Cody Ford #74 of the Buffalo Bills react during the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Highmark Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York.

The Buffalo Bills are in the midst of figuring out which players will be selected for the team’s 53-man roster once the 2022 NFL season starts, and while there are a lot of tough decisions to be made at multiple positions, Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton suggests there’s one obvious cut to make.

On Wednesday, August 17, Wharton urged the Bills to release offensive lineman Cody Ford. While Buffalo traded up to select Ford with their second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, his “career fell apart relatively quickly after he never developed as a starter,” Wharton wrote.

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With Ford entering the final year of his $7.5 million rookie contract, the 6-foot-3, 329-pounder is firmly entering a make-or-break season in Buffalo. Last season, Ford was taken out of the starting lineup after allowing 11 pressures against the Washington Football Team in Week 3, and Spencer Brown, whom the Bills drafted in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, took over as the team’s starting right tackle against the Houston Texans in Week 4.

“As a rookie, he started 15 contests between right tackle and guard,” Wharton wrote of Ford, noting how a torn meniscus limited his action in 2020 to just seven games. “In 2021, he was essentially benched in favor of rookie right tackle Spencer Brown. Granted, Ford played guard at the time, but veteran right tackle Daryl Williams moved inside to accommodate Brown’s inclusion.
 Now Ford could be the odd man out.”

The Bills’ starting lineup on the offensive line appears to be set with Dion Dawkins, Rodger Saffold, Mitch Morse, Ryan Bates, and Brown. Buffalo added even more depth to the O-line this offseason by signing Greg Van Roten, David Quessenberry, and Greg Mancz, which wasn’t a great sign for Ford.

However, this season can be a new slate for Oklahoma alum. The Bills’ new offensive line coach Aaron Kromer told The Buffalo News in July, “Cody’s a talented player. He’s run into bad luck… We have high expectations for Cody. He’s adapting and working at the fundamentals and techniques we’re teaching. He’s all in.”

Numerous Analysts Have Suggested the Bills Trade Ford Instead

USA Today’s Nick Wojton also believes Ford is likely on the chopping block but urged the team to trade the 25-year-old guard instead. Wojton wrote on August 12, “Ford is a bit of a floater on the roster bubble. While he has been a bust as a second-round pick, he’s still on his rookie contract which means he’d be an affordable backup for Buffalo in 2022.

“Despite that, if Ford plays well, a future draft pick might be a worthwhile trade for the Bills.”

When predicting the team’s projected 53-man roster on August 15, reporter Ryan Talbot wrote that it’s in the best interest for the Bills to trade Ford, as well.

“At some point, the Bills need to cut their losses on the lineman, and now seems like the perfect opportunity. There are plenty of teams looking to improve their line and at least one general manager probably thinks Ford’s talent can be salvaged. In this exercise, Ford gets sent away for a day three pick in a future draft.”

Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine urged the Bills to trade back in July. Ford, who’s made 29 starts throughout his NFL career, has become “a liability,” Ballentine wrote.

“He’s been given opportunities to catch on as both a tackle and guard but hasn’t done enough to continue to get those chances. According to Sports Info Solutions, Ford had the worst blown block percentage of anyone on the team with at least 250 snaps. 
PFF agreed that his play wasn’t up to par. He earned a paltry 46.4 grade from their analysts despite only giving up two sacks.

“Whether it’s been guard or tackle, the 25-year-old has been a turnstile and weak link.
The Bills have acknowledged this with their moves this season. They bolstered the interior of the offensive line with the additions of Rodger Saffold, David Quessenberry and Greg Mancz.
With just $4.875 million in cap space, the Bills could use the $1.5 million they would save by parting ways with Ford.”

Will the Bills Add Another Player?

Following the NFL’s first cut deadline on August 16, the Bills’ released two players, which put the team one man under the 85-player maximum. Buffalo can now add one more prospective player before Tuesday, August 23, when the team has to cut the roster down to 80 players.

The final round cuts have to be made by Tuesday, August 30, when Buffalo will have to bring the roster down to 53 players.

The Bills’ most recent signing happened on July 30, when they cut rookie Travon Fuller in order to sign former New Orleans Saints cornerback Jordan Miller, the latter of whom still remains on the team’s roster.

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