Brian Winters has signed with the rival Buffalo Bills after his recent early-August release from Joe Douglas’ New York Jets.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the John Idzik pick back in 2013 has signed with the rival Buffalo Bills.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 3, 2020
Winters, 29, heads to Orchard Park on a one-year deal. The Bills return both starting guards from a season ago, Jon Feliciano and Quinton Spain. The issue is that Feliciano is expected to miss anywhere from 8-12 weeks with a torn pectoral muscle. Where Winters fits into the offensive line portion of the depth chart remains to be seen.
Interestingly, Winters was the longest-tenured Jet and final holdover from the Idzik days. The Kent State product has started for the Jets since his rookie season (2013) when he initially played left guard opposite veteran Willie Colon. He eventually settled into right guard officially in 2015–a place he’s been since.
Winters’ shoulder is what eventually led to the split. He first injured the shoulder in camp 2019 yet began the season as the starter. Eventually, he went down during the New York Giants game and never returned. Successful surgery led to season-ending IR status.
There’s no surprise in the Jets cutting the veteran. The only surprising aspect is that they did so on Aug. 2. Conventional wisdom led everybody to believe he would be a veteran cap casualty earlier in the offseason or after the camp battled ended.
Winters’ immediate misfortune leads to fortune, as this timing allowed him to quickly hop on a Bills squad in need of a guard (thanks to injury).