Buffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Beane has never been afraid of a preseason trade, and he went ahead and orchestrated another one on Monday when he sent offensive guard Cody Ford to the Arizona Cardinals for a 5th-round pick.
Monday’s move was another in a long line of August trades where Beane identified a player who was unlikely to make the Buffalo Bills’ 53-man roster and traded him away for future draft picks instead.
In 2019, Beane traded center Russell Bodine to the Patriots for a 6th-round pick that would become wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins. He also traded guard Wyatt Teller to the Browns for a 5th-round pick and a 6th-round pick that would become kicker Tyler Bass.
Just last year, he traded defensive end Darryl Johnson to the Panthers for a 6th-round pick that would become cornerback Christian Benford.
With the success the Bills have had on late-round draft picks since Beane and head coach Sean McDermott took over, these are moves that have proved to be crucial in building out the roster.
A trade of Cody Ford also seemed to be the best-case scenario for both sides. Earlier in the offseason, I covered that Ford had likely come to the end of his time in Buffalo. Drafted in the 2nd-round out of Oklahoma, he had proved to be a big slow-footed for right tackle and never quite showed the consistency the team wanted after he was moved inside to guard.
The team signed Rodger Saffold in the offseason and re-signed Ryan Bates, which means the starting guard positions were taken. That hurt Cody Ford since the Buffalo Bills covet versatility from their backup lineman and Ford has proven he can only play guard, at least in their eyes.
However, Ford had a strong offseason and training camp this year, but he had been passed on the depth chart and was playing a large snap share in the first two preseason games in order to be showcased for a trade just like this one.
So at the end of the day, who comes out ahead in this trade?
Ford is the biggest winner in my eyes. Yes, he’s leaving a Super Bowl contender, but he’s going to another strong franchise and now has a chance to start. Considering he was likely to be cut by the Bills, joining his old college teammates Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown and getting a chance to battle for a starting spot, is a big win.
In my latest 53-man roster projection, I had Bobby Hart making the Buffalo Bills. That seems like a lock now. Hart, like Ford, has struggled at tackle in his career, but Hart has looked strong this training camp since being moved inside to guard. He now brings a positional versatility that the Bills crave in their back-up linemen. Today, both Hart and Ford went from roster bubbles to roster locks.
2023 Bills Draft Fun
A 5th-round pick is not a minor draft asset. The Bills appear to have hit on their 5th-round pick this year with Boise State wide receiver Khalil Shakir. In 2018, they draft safety Siran Neal, and in 2017, they selected star linebacker Matt Milano.
A 5th-round pick could also become trade ammunition for the Bills to move up in the middle rounds of the draft. Whatever the case, the added pick gives Brandon Beane more flexibility to add talent in the 2023 draft, which is great news for the Buffalo Bills’ long-term success.
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