As fans turn their attention towards the upcoming draft, the bargain bin shopping continues for the Buffalo Bills. Big Baller Beane and company haven’t stopped the due diligence on either front this offseason. The Buffalo Bills have agreed to a one-year deal with former Chargers interior offensive lineman, Forrest Lamp. Incoming all the Brick Tannen “I love lamp” jokes.
In all seriousness, this is a great signing for the Buffalo Bills as depth and competition on the interior offensive line is still a priority. Fans are disgruntled with Ford’s inability to stay on the field and find his footing in the league. Jon Feliciano is a solid starter but should be pushed to compete for the starting role. By bringing in Lamp, Ford and Feliciano will have to prove themselves to the Bills coaching staff to win/retain their starting jobs. As a former second-round pick, Lamp still has a lot of available upside. Part of that upside is the ability to play both center and guard. Knock on wood nothing happens to Mitch Morse, but if something does, now the Bills have the option to kick either Feliciano or Lamp to center should both make the final roster.
Just to get fans excited, Lamp posted a 9.12 relative athletic score back in the 2017 draft process coming out of Western Kentucky. After only three seasons in the NFL, Lamp has only played one full season and that was last year. While injuries are a concern for Lamp, the same could be said for most of the available free agents at this point. What differentiates Lamp from the rest is his high upside/potential to mitigate the risk. Not to mention, I’m sure Big Baller Beane signed him close to the vet minimum for this year.
In my opinion, this signing reminds me a lot of when the Bills signed Daryl Williams last offseason. Similar to Williams, Lamp is under 30 years old signing a one-year prove-it deal to revive his career. Assuming he carves out a starting role on this offensive line, the only way the Bills would let him walk next off-season is if he plays himself out of their price range. With the jury still out on Ford and Feliciano on a glorified one-year deal, this move gives the Buffalo Bills additional flexibility for the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft and for next off-season.
Is the interior offensive line still a priority in the draft? Yes, but not because they don’t believe in Lamp, Ford, or Feliciano, rather simply because nothing is guaranteed. Just because Lamp has high potential doesn’t mean he will pan out. With that being said, there’s reason for confidence because this Buffalo Bills coaching staff is top-notch and elevates the play of seemingly everyone who walks through the door. Competition should be welcomed and, undoubtedly, the cream will rise to the top this preseason.