The Bills’ offseason acquisition of Poona Ford appeared to give them experienced depth along the defensive line. The veteran has played sparingly this year, however, and his lack of usage is understandably not sitting well.
Ford inked a one-year deal with Buffalo in May. The pact contained $1.5MM in guaranteed compensation but a maximum value of $3.25MM based on playing time and sack incentives. The 28-year-old appeared to be set up for a rotational role, but instead he has been a healthy scratch five times this season. Ford’s snap share sits at 32%, by far the lowest of his career since his rookie campaign.
“I don’t know, it’s just been weird for me,” the former Seahawk said, via Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News. “This isn’t what I was expecting coming here… I thought I was going to be able to contribute and help this team win.”
Over the course of a five-year stint in Seattle, Ford made 81 appearances, including 64 starts. He proved to be a consistent producer, racking up between 32 and 53 tackles each season between 2019-22. He collected 7.5 sacks during that span, demonstrating an ability to chip in as a pass rusher as well. In his limited playing time this season, however, Ford has recorded just seven tackles and a pair of quarterback pressures.
Buffalo added veteran Linval Joseph last month, and he has established himself as a contributor along the D-line. Joseph, along with Ed Oliver, Jordan Phillips and Tim Settle, are in place atop the depth chart for the Bills. Injuries to one or more members of that quartet will likely be needed for Ford to receive an extended look, although the team’s coaching staff has expressed support for his professionalism in handling the situation.
Given how the season has shaken out so far, it would come as no surprise if Ford were to depart Buffalo in free agency this spring. His market value will take a hit given his lack of production, but it could receive a boost if circumstances were to change for him late in the campaign.