The Jets opted not to retain Greg Van Roten this offseason, releasing the veteran guard despite his 23-start run with the team. The Bills are giving the 10-year blocker a landing spot.
Although the Jets bailed on Van Roten’s contract shortly after the draft, Robert Saleh said the team was open to bringing him back. The Jets believed Van Roten had the potential to start for other teams. After they had signed Laken Tomlinson to pair with Alijah Vera-Tucker, the 32-year-old blocker was not in line to keep starting for the Jets. A northward trek to a superior team should represent a better opportunity for Van Roten to stay a starter. If that does not end up taking place, the Bills still have a strong depth piece in a player who has 50 starts to his credit.
Pro Football Focus viewed Van Roten as a midlevel guard last season and deemed his 2021 work slightly superior to what he offered in 2020. Van Roten came to the Jets after a three-year run with the Panthers, the final two as a starter. He began his career with the Packers, catching on with Green Bay as a UDFA in 2012. While Van Roten does have a Panthers past, his stay did not overlap with ex-Panthers exec-turned-Bills GM Brandon Beane.
Saffold’s career-long run as a starter puts him in position to claim one of Buffalo’s first-string guard gigs, despite this being his age-34 season. The team also retained Ryan Bates by matching a Bears RFA offer sheet, giving the young guard some momentum to build on the six-start season he finished. Buffalo has Ike Boettger (17 starts from 2020-21) and former second-round pick Cody Ford under contract as well.