Today’s minor moves:
- Re-signed: G Ike Boettger
- Signed: CB Kendall Sheffield
New England Patriots
- Waived: G Hayden Howerton
- Signed: WR Marcus Kemp
Today’s minor moves:
New England Patriots
Ike Boettger is moving closer to making his return from the Achilles tear he sustained in December of last year. The Bills activated the veteran guard from their reserve/PUP list Monday.
Monday represented the last day Buffalo could keep Boettger off its active roster, with the team having designated him for return three weeks ago. The Bills brought Tre’Davious White off the PUP list earlier this season but did not play him for a few weeks after that. It will be interesting to see when the team redeploys Boettger, who was working as a starter before going down with the Achilles injury.
Boettger, 28, suffered the injury during the Bills’ Week 16 game last year. If he returns Saturday, it will mark a year out of game action for the former UDFA. White missed one year as well, going down during a Thanksgiving Day game in 2021 and not returning until the Bills-Lions Thanksgiving tilt.
An Iowa product, Boettger started 17 games for the Bills from 2020-21. The team made some additions up front this offseason, adding Rodger Saffold and Greg Van Roten at guard. The team matched a Bears RFA offer sheet for Ryan Bates as well. Bates and Saffold have worked as the AFC East champions’ starting guards for most of this season, but Bates missed the Bills’ Week 15 game because of an ankle injury. Boettger would be ticketed for a depth role at least. Buffalo having he and Van Roten (53 career starts, including three this season) as backup options up front would represent strong depth ahead of the postseason.
Boettger will not have much time to show he has returned to form ahead of a free agency bid, however. The Bills re-signed the fifth-year blocker on a one-year deal this offseason. He joins Saffold and Van Roten in being eligible for free agency in March. By virtue of matching Chicago’s Bates offer sheet, Buffalo has him under contract through 2025.
To make room on the 53-man roster, the Bills waived defensive tackle Brandin Bryant. The Florida Atlantic product has played in four Bills games this season and seen defensive action in each. He logged 10 defensive snaps against the Dolphins on Saturday. Bryant, who has been with Buffalo since 2020, could return to the team on a practice squad deal if he clears waivers.
Tre’Davious White made his long-awaited return from a Thanksgiving 2021 injury, and the Bills are soon set to see how their other player who suffered a major injury late last season looks.
Buffalo designated guard Ike Boettger for return from the reserve/PUP list Monday, ESPN.com’s Field Yates tweets, opening his three-week practice window. Out since suffering an Achilles tear in Week 16 last season, Boettger must return in that three-week window or be moved to season-ending IR.
Injuries have hit the Bills hard this season, and while the team has been relatively healthy along its offensive line, Boettger’s return would certainly bolster the unit. The former UDFA had been working as a starter in the weeks leading up to his injury last season.
Buffalo has made some changes at guard since Boettger last played. Rodger Saffold and Ryan Bates are now the Bills’ starters, with the team not re-signing Darryl Williams and Jon Feliciano. The Bills matched the Bears’ Bates RFA offer sheet this offseason, traded Cody Ford to the Cardinals and also added Greg Van Roten, who started against the Lions on Thursday.
Boettger, 28, has made 19 starts over the past two seasons. Pro Football Focus rates Bates and Saffold outside the top 50 at guard; neither has missed a game this season. Bates has played both guard and center this year, stepping in at center to replace Mitch Morse in Week 12. Morse has since returned to practice.
With Saffold, Bates, Van Roten and Boettger in the fold, the Bills will have some options along their interior O-line. The team has seen injuries decimate its defense, most recently injecting uncertainty into Von Miller‘s situation, but its offense has not encountered as much trouble. Despite the Bills’ high volume of injuries, they are in great shape in terms of activations. They have only used one (White) of their eight allowed injury activations.
As a way to clear roster spots in moving down to the required 80-man limit, teams can begin placing players on the reserve/PUP list Tuesday. The Bills will use this method in trimming their roster to that number.
Offensive lineman Ike Boettger will be moved from the active/PUP list — a preseason-only designation — to the reserve/PUP list, GM Brandon Beane said Tuesday morning (via NFL.com’s Mike Giardi, on Twitter). Boettger will miss at least the first four games of the regular season.
[RELATED: Bills Trade G Cody Ford To Cardinals]
With Boettger suffering an Achilles tear in Week 16, such a move has been on the radar for a while. The Bills added some pieces up front this offseason as well. They signed Rodger Saffold, Greg Van Roten, Greg Mancz and David Quessenberry. They also matched a Bears RFA offer sheet for Ryan Bates, retaining the 2021 starter.
Buffalo also re-signed Boettger to a one-year deal worth $1.19MM ($1MM guaranteed), keeping the former UDFA in the fold. The ex-Iowa blocker started 10 games for the Bills last season, working as a guard. After grading Boettger as a top-40 guard in 2020 — a seven-start year — Pro Football Focus slotted him outside the top 50 among guards last season.
Saffold and Bates are expected to be the team’s guard starters this season. Boettger, 27, should be expected to return at some point during the year. Beane did add that the veteran blocker encountered a setback in his rehab, per The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia (on Twitter). This helps explain the PUP transfer and figures to delay his return.
Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White will start training camp on the PUP list, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. That does not come as much of a surprise given that White sustained a torn ACL in November.
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.
James White did not make it into last season’s October docket, suffering a hip injury in Week 3. That issue did not deter the Patriots from giving the veteran passing-down back a fourth contract — two years, $5MM — this offseason, but it very well might keep White off the field until October of this year. The ninth-year veteran has not been fully cleared, and Mike Reiss of ESPN.com envisions the Patriots being cautious to start the season by using the reserve/PUP list in this case. New England has Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson back as its primary backfield cogs, and the team doubled up on runners in the draft (Pierre Strong in Round 4 and Kevin Harris in Round 6). White, 30, going over a year without playing would be somewhat concerning, but he is the team’s longest-tenured offensive player and still should be on track to play a significant role in its second Mac Jones-conducted attack.
Here is the latest from the AFC East:
The Bills are bringing back one of their offensive line starters. The team announced that they have re-signed guard Ike Boettger. It’s a one-year deal for the 27-year-old.
Boettger went undrafted out of Iowa in 2018, and after bouncing on and off the Bills and Chiefs rosters to start his career, he landed back with Buffalo and never looked back. He appeared in only six games through his first two seasons in the NFL, but he ended up getting in 12 games (seven starts) during the 2020 campaign.
He got into 15 games during the 2021 campaign, including 10 starts at left guard. He suffered an Achilles injury during Week 16 that knocked him out for the rest of the regular season and postseason. Fortunately, GM Brandon Beane indicated today that the offensive lineman is recovering nicely.
“Ike had a tough injury with the Achilles last year and is rehabbing that. He got a good exam on his physical,” said Beane (via the team’s website). “He’ll still have to rehab that and we’ll see where he’s at when training camp starts.”
Today’s minor moves:
Today’s the deadline for teams to extend tender offers to their restricted free agents and exclusive rights free agents. We’ll keep tabs on the latest here:
Today’s minor moves:
New Orleans Saints
New York Jets
San Francisco 49ers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers