The Buffalo Bills brought back two pieces along their offensive line on Monday, the team announced.
The Bills have re-signed lineman Ike Boettger to a one-year deal. Full terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Boettger’s return came around the same time that the team announced Ryan Bates would also be back via a four-year deal. The Bills matched an offer sheet he signed with the Chicago Bears.
Boettger, 27, has spent most of his four-year career with the Bills. He briefly spent time on the Kansas City Chiefs, where he did not appear in a game before returning to Buffalo.
In the last two seasons, Boettger found his way into the Bills’ starting lineup 17 times.
In 2021, Boettger made 10 starts before a December Achilles injury ended his season. Leading up to that game, Boettger made nine-straight starts over Jon Feliciano.
Feliciano started 2021 as the Bills’ starter at guard on the offensive line, however, he left due to injury. After healing, Feliciano did not replace Boettger–nor did he get back in the lineup over Ryan Bates.
Bates replaced Boettger when he went down. Bates went on to start for the Bills during the postseason as well.
Before injury, Boettger was graded a 59.8 overall mark by Pro Football Focus. The football analytics outlet likes Boettger’s pass blocking in particular. That grade of 72.2 was their ninth-best number for any guard in the NFL.
Bates is likely viewed as a starting guard for the Bills on paper this offseason. Buffalo also signed Rodger Saffold who will factor in as well.
Still, the Bills will go with the five they think gives the team the best chance. If Boettger ends up outplaying Bates or Saffold this offseason, he’ll be awarded starting snaps.
Feliciano has since gone on to sign with the New York Giants.