The Buffalo Bills have been full of surprising moves this offseason, from the signing of Von Miller to the hefty contract extension for Stefon Diggs.
But one of the most surprising moves may have been the release of Daryl Williams, the versatile offensive lineman who had earned a contract extension just one year before but became a cap casualty before the start of free agency in March. A team insider believes there could be a reunion in the future, however, as the Bills look to add depth to their line and could bring Williams back on a more team-friendly deal.
Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine explored the potential free-agent options for all Super Bowl contenders, pegging Williams as the best candidate for the Bills. Ballentine noted that the Bills are strong at guard, with new acquisition Rodger Saffold on the right and emerging Ryan Bates on the right, but could use some insurance in case either of them is lost for a stretch.
“If either of them gets hurt or Bates fails to grow into his role, the options are bleak,” Ballentine wrote. “Cody Ford couldn’t hold down a starting job last season, and Ike Boettger was a liability in 10 starts.
“The team has not re-signed Daryl Williams, but it’s worth considering. The 29-year-old has been in Buffalo for the last two seasons, knows the offense and can play both guard and tackle. That could prove incredibly useful as the Bills go after their first Lombardi Trophy.”
Bills May Have Planned Return
The Bills may have already laid the groundwork for Williams to return. At the time the 29-year-old lineman was released in March, the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that the sides were keeping in touch and leaving open the possibility of a re-signing.
Any new deal for Williams would likely come in lower than the three-year, $24-million extension he signed in 2021. Beane has made it clear that the Bills didn’t have much room for free-agent moves, saying in March that the team was mostly looking to the draft to add new players.
“We’ve got to knock this draft out, because we’re pretty much done with free agency,” Beane said, via the Buffalo News.
But if the Bills do have any more room for moves, the offensive line could be the most logical position to make them. Beane has made it clear that keeping quarterback Josh Allen safe is the top priority this offseason.
“First thing, I’m going to try and protect him,” Beane said. “As I said earlier, I have to make sure the o-line is set and that we’re confident in them. But beyond that, always looking for the various pieces.”
The Bills selected only one offensive lineman in the NFL Draft, taking Luke Tenuta with their sixth-round pick. The Virginia Tech tackle is expected to be a project, with NFL.com’s analysis noting he had pass protection issues and could “struggle to compete at the pro level.” That could leave the door open for a potential return for Williams.