We heard about some of Buffalo’s bigger moves earlier today, including the release of O.J. Howard and Duke Johnson. Greg Mancz is one of the most experienced players to get cut, with the veteran having appeared in 63 games across seven NFL seasons. His positional versatility was expected to land him a roster spot as a backup offensive lineman, but the team ultimately opted for a younger option. Mancz certainly didn’t help his case when he missed the preseason finale while recovering from a foot injury suffered during practice.
Tanner Gentry and Alec Anderson are both candidates to return to Buffalo via the practice squad. Gentry has bounced on and off the Bills roster over the previous two seasons without getting into a game. Anderson started 10 games at UCLA last year before landing with the Bills as an undrafted rookie.
Matt Barkley has spent the past four seasons in Buffalo. He got into eight games with the Bills between 2018 and 2020, completing 53 of his 97 pass attempts for 788 yards, three touchdowns, and four interceptions. He was demoted to QB3 in 2021 following the acquisition of Mitchell Trubisky, and Barkley didn’t end up seeing the field last year. He was eyeing a similar role in 2022 with Case Keenum now serving as Josh Allen‘s primary backup.
Rapoport does note that White is “in a good place” in his recovery. It is still unclear when the two-time Pro Bowler will be able to return to the field, and he is a candidate to open the season on IR. If he is not ready to go for Week 1, Buffalo will likely deploy first-round rookie Kaiir Elam and Dane Jackson — who acquitted himself well when filling in for White last year — as its starting boundary corners.
White, who had signed a four-year, $70MM extension a little more than a year before suffering the ACL tear, was in the midst of a terrific 2021 campaign. His yards-per-completion (9.9) and yards-per-target (5.2) figures represented career-best marks, and he was surrendering a meager 60.8 QB rating on passes thrown in his direction. He had also posted 41 tackles, one forced fumble, six passes defensed, and one interception. The Bills have legitimate championship aspirations, and White’s healthy return will be instrumental to the club’s push for its first Lombardi Trophy.
Meanwhile, offseason acquisition Rodger Saffold will open camp on the NFI list after injuring his ribs in a recent car accident, per Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic (via Twitter). Head coach Sean McDermott did not put a timeline on Saffold’s return, saying only that the 34-year-old will return “in due time.”
Saffold spent the last three seasons with the Titans and earned the first Pro Bowl nod of his career in 2021. Tennessee released him in a cost-cutting move in March, and he signed with the Bills several days later. He projects as Buffalo’s starting left guard.
Fellow guard Ike Boettger, who started 10 games for the Bills last season, finds himself on the PUP list after sustaining an Achilles tear towards the end of the 2021 season. DT Eli Ankou, a reserve/futures player who notched one sack and nine tackles in five games for Buffalo last year, joins him and White on that list.