Bills To Shift Connor McGovern To C

While the Jets have not re-signed four-year starter Connor McGovern, the AFC East will not be without a Connor McGovern at center this season. A Bills change will ensure this.

After Buffalo signed the younger of the NFL’s Connor McGoverns last year, they slotted the ex-Cowboys draftee at left guard. Rather than moving the re-signed David Edwards to center to fill Mitch Morse‘s old post, the Bills are signing off on a more natural transition. McGovern confirmed he will be the one replacing Morse this season.

I would say center is my natural position,” McGovern said, via the Buffalo News’ Mark Gaughan. “So it’s just going back home. I missed it a lot. I was drafted as a center originally. Then a new coaching staff came in and I got moved to guard. I always kind of sought my way back to center. Every time something happened, I’d play a little bit (at center) and I’d get moved back to guard. Now officially I can move back to center, so I’m very happy.

The Jets’ Joe Tippmann plan will deny the world a division of two Connor McGoverns at center, but the Bills will give a player with 100 career snaps at center that role in 2024. Morse started at center in Buffalo for five seasons, but a cost-cutting spree led him off the roster. The Jaguars signed Morse soon after. While McGovern has a center past, he played 12 snaps there in 2021 and 88 at the pivot in 2022. Otherwise, his center work came in Cowboys practices or prior to the NFL.

Saquon Barkley‘s final Penn State season featured 13 McGovern starts at center. The Nittany Lions moved McGovern to guard in 2018, however, and the Cowboys slotted him there for the most part. Last season, all 1,135 McGovern snaps came at left guard. This will be a transition for the Bills’ second-highest-paid O-lineman, though his 2017 role points to an easier transition. McGovern, 26, is tied to a three-year, $22.35MM deal.

Edwards, who re-signed on a two-year deal worth $6MM, appears poised to take over at left guard. The former Rams starter has never played an NFL snap at center and primarily played right tackle at Wisconsin. His background makes a McGovern move more logical for the four-time reigning AFC East champs. Dion Dawkins, Spencer Brown and O’Cyrus Torrence are primed to reprise their 2023 roles up front, with Edwards — a 45-game Rams starter from 2019-22 — likely to re-emerge as a starter after a concussion-marred 2022 season and a 2023 campaign spent as a Bills backup.

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