Bills To Sign G Connor McGovern

Expected to make an effort to upgrade their offensive line this offseason, the Bills are signing Connor McGovern. This is the former Cowboys guard, the younger of the NFL’s two Connor McGoverns, Mike Garafolo of tweets.

It is a three-year deal worth $23MM, Garafolo adds. McGovern, who spent his contract year primarily working as Dallas’ left guard, will be expected to commandeer a Buffalo starting spot inside.

Pro Football Focus ranked the Bills’ offensive line 23rd last season, one that ended with an ugly home divisional-round loss to the Bengals. The team has Rodger Saffold unsigned from last year’s starting lineup. The ex-Rams and Titans blocker stepped in as a Bills guard starter in 2022. Buffalo also has Ryan Bates under contract, after matching a Bears RFA offer sheet last year. But McGovern is tied to starter-level money. It should be expected he will work as a first-stringer up front to help the AFC East champions.

McGovern, 25, started 29 games for the Cowboys from 2020-22. An injury kept the former third-round pick off the field as a rookie, and he did not secure a Week 1 starting gig until last season. But McGovern was viewed as having the lead on Tyler Smith for Dallas’ left guard spot — prior to Tyron Smith‘s avulsion fracture that changed the team’s O-line plans — in training camp. McGovern also held off Jason Peters for the Cowboys’ left guard gig, starting 15 games.

PFF did not view McGovern as especially sound in his contract campaign, slotting him outside the top 60 at guard. But the Bills were sold on the Penn State product — on a midlevel deal, at least. McGovern joins Bates, Mitch Morse and Dion Dawkins as veteran-contract players on Buffalo’s front, though none of these blockers is tied to top-five money at their respective position.

The Cowboys will lose an interior starter for the second straight year, with McGovern following Connor Williams to the AFC East. Dallas has higher priorities, however, and has Zack Martin signed to an upper-echelon guard deal. The team is still planning to keep both Tyron Smith and Terence Steele alongside Tyler Smith. It will be interesting to see if Dallas moves one of these blockers to guard to ensure each starts in 2023.

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