The Buffalo Bills have released two-year starting offensive lineman Daryl Williams. The Bills also parted ways with three-year starter Jon Feliciano last week.
Both veterans will be 30 when the season begins, and they would both upgrade the New York Giants’ most significant liability over the last decade - the offensive line.
Williams was drafted in the fourth round in 2015 by Dave Gettleman and the Carolina Panthers. He’s played 5,292 career snaps with 3,684 at right tackle, 946 at right guard, 414 at left guard, and 188 at left tackle.
Feliciano was also a fourth-round selection in 2015; he was originally an Oakland Raider before joining Buffalo after signing a two-year, $7.25 million deal. Feliciano signed a three-year, $14.4 million extension in 2021.
Feliciano has guard/center flexibility.
Feliciano suffered a calf injury that landed him on the I.R. in 2021. He missed weeks 9-16 and didn’t start once activated.
Similar to Feliciano, Williams extended his contract in 2021. He signed a three-year, $28.2 million contract that included $14 million guaranteed. Williams was going to count for just under $10 million against the cap in 2022. Buffalo saves $6.3 million while absorbing $3.6-million in dead cap after his release.
Williams started every game in 2021 - 11 at right guard, eight at right tackle. Williams committed six penalties, allowed 44 pressures, and four sacks. In 447 snaps, Feliciano allowed eight pressures and zero sacks at left guard.
Familiarity is an obvious connection between the Giants’ new brass and these offensive linemen. Giants’ general manager Joe Schoen was a part of a contingent that recently valued Williams and Feliciano.
Both players operated in Brian Daboll’s system for more than two years, and both were reliable starters who were valued enough by their offensive coordinator to warrant extensions last season. The extensions didn’t work as Bills’ general manager Brandon Beane anticipated, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not valuable players.
New York needs starting offensive linemen at every position that isn’t left tackle. They need experience, reliability, and cheaper options that will fit the culture and help build a foundation under the leadership of Schoen and Daboll; Williams and Feliciano can be those options for the Giants.
Adding either Williams or Feliciano would also not count against the Giants’ compensatory pick formula for the 2023 draft because both their contracts were terminated. New York will lose players like Evan Engram, Jabrill Peppers, and others. If the Giants’ 2021 impending free agents sign lucrative deals, then the Giants would receive compensatory selections in 2023 - IF they do not spend on actual free agents whose contracts weren’t terminated.
The Giants are in a position where they may have to choose one of the two former Bills. In an ideal world, Williams is the more valued player. He can play tackle or guard, and he’s not coming off an injury-riddled season. Unfortunately for New York, it’s not an ideal world and Williams could be worth more than the Giants can realistically offer.
If everything was equal, and the Giants can only afford one, I would choose Williams over Feliciano. The Williams market is just opening up since he was released this morning. We will know more about his suitors soon. Feliciano would still be an upgrade over anything New York had at guard last season.
New York is in desperate need of offensive linemen, and Williams or Feliciano could help the Giants in their quest to fix the unit. The Giants aren’t in a healthy cap situation for 2022, but neither player should command big money, and the familiarity makes sense for both sides.
Which player would you choose, Giants fans?