When was the last time that the Buffalo Bills headed into the new season in a reload mode rather than a rebuild? Keep going back into history and let me know because it seems like a super long time ago. With free agency approaching on March 18th, players are going to get paid no matter what. Teams are going to evaluate each of their needs and decide whether to pursue fixing it now or later down the road at the draft.
One of the Bills’ needs include the big men in the trenches. If the team decides not to re-sign Quinton Spain, they will have to fill a massive hole on the left side of the line. One free agent target is Patriots’ offensive guard Joe Thuney.
With the Patriots almost never throwing out big money towards impending free agents, the expected path is that Thuney will be looking for a new home in 2020. If the Bills have a gap to fill up front, Thuney is the player to replace the big hole.
Cole Weather Effects
The main difference between Buffalo and New England weather is the snowfall. Both locations have frigid temperatures and the wind can pick up at any moment. With Thuney being in cold-weathered New England, he should have no problem adjusting to the different weather patterns that Buffalo gets.
Since being drafted in 2016, Thuney has been arguably the most consistent player in the NFL when it comes to playing in games. Having no injuries in his career and being able to produce, he shows that he is able to stay healthy and do his job to open up the play.
The Bills have had various injury bugs throughout the years. A promising season for a player, only to be shortened by some type of injury. The offensive line needs to be on the field at all cost to protect their young quarterback.
Clean Record (Penalties Against)
The Bills finished 2019 as the eighth worst team in penalties against them. They gave up 124 penalties for 991 yards total. Penalties is what cost them games in different areas of the season, especially in their wild card playoff game.
Thuney finished last season with a clean record, tallying no penalties. Coming from a New England system where players are disciplined to not draw penalties, Thuney brings that upside to his game.
Paying a Fair Price
With Thuney hitting the free agent market for the first time in his career, he will be looking to cash in as one of the top interior linemen in the league. Thuney could land in the $10-$15 million dollar range which is understandable based on his performance. At 27 years old, he is still in his prime and is coming off his best season of his career. If the Bills want the production, they will have to pay for it and seeing how wide their cap space is.
-Brandon Ray is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the Buffalo Bills. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @brandon_ray79.