Bills release OT Williams, give C Morse extension

Bills release OT Williams, give C Morse extension

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With the official start of NFL free agency just hours away, the Buffalo Bills made multiple moves along the offensive line to open more cap room, releasing lineman Daryl Williams and signing center Mitch Morse to a two-year, $19.5 million extension.

By releasing Williams, the team opens over $6 million in cap space and the Morse deal lowers his $11.25 million cap hit for 2022 to $9 million. The extension includes $12 million guaranteed and a $7.5 million signing bonus.

Keeping Morse for the future, while lowering his cap hit for this year is a logical move for a player that was asked to take a pay cut last year. The soon-to-be 30-year-old is coming off a strong season and has become a reliable part of the line for quarterback Josh Allen over the last three years.

15hAlaina Getzenberg

9mESPN staff

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Replacing Williams’ versatility and availability will be key with depth along the interior of the offensive line now a need for Buffalo after releasing guard Jon Feliciano in another cap-saving move earlier this month. Supporting Allen is one of the top priorities for this team and investing in the offensive line is a significant part of that with two of the five starters from Week 1 of last year now off the roster.

After signing a three-year, $24 million contract with the Bills last offseason, Williams was moved from right tackle to right guard in 2021 after the emergence of third-round pick Spencer Brown at right tackle. Williams was slated to once again be at guard in 2022, but he was set to account for over $9 million in cap space this year, a higher price than the Bills can afford to pay for a guard.

Williams started at both right guard and right tackle for the team during the 2021 season and earned his bigger deal last year after a successful one-year contract with the team in 2020. He has started 33 games in his two seasons with the Bills and as a tackle, ranked 19th out of 68 qualifying players in pass block win rate.

As free agency gets underway, the Bills may look to other cost-saving moves with wide receiver Cole Beasley’s trade request or potential release — one of the most significant dominoes still to fall. Beasley is set to account for over $7 million against the cap, and the team would save $6 million with a trade or release.

Positions to watch for the Bills, as free agency gets underway and more cap room is created, include cornerback, defensive line, backup quarterback and interior offensive line.

Buffalo could also look to add a veteran tight end but secured help at wide receiver, Sunday, by inking Isaiah McKenzie to a two-year deal worth $4.4 million to keep one of Allen’s weapons on the roster.

Source: ESPN NFL


Author: Ellen Garcia