While the 25-year-old guard was squarely on the chopping block heading into the 2022 NFL season, entering his fourth year with Buffalo, the Bills ultimately chose to trade him to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a 2023 fifth-round pick, as stated on the team’s official website.
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With Ford entering the final year of his $7.5 million rookie contract, the 6-foot-3, 329-pounder was 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.
Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton predicted Ford would be the “odd man out” last week. Wharton wrote, “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.
The Bills saved about $1.52 million by releasing Ford, and now enter the final week of the preseason with just approximately $5 million in cap space, per Cover 1 host Greg Thompsett.
Numerous Analysts Suggested the Bills Should Trade Ford, Who’s Been ‘A Bust’
Ford’s trade won’t come as a huge surprise for most NFL analysts. USA Today’s Nick 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, NYUp.com 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.”
The Bills Cut 2 Players on Monday, Need to Cut 1 More
In addition to trading Ford, the Bills made two cuts to their roster on Monday. In addition to releasing veteran punter Matt Haack, which means Buffalo is looking toward rookie Matt Araiza as the team’s starter, Buffalo also cut veteran wide receiver Tavon Austin.
The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia tweeted on Monday afternoon, “The Bills roster is down to 81. They’ll need one more cut or roster move to become roster compliant by tomorrow’s deadline.” The Bills are required to get down to 80 players by Tuesday, August 23 at 4 p.m.
The final round cuts have to be made by Tuesday, August 30, when Buffalo will have to bring the roster down to 53 players.