Bills Land Veteran Center Who Started 11 Games Last Season

The Buffalo Bills are adding depth to their offensive line by adding a veteran center coming off a career-high season.

 

The team announced on March 22 that they signed former Los Angeles Chargers offensive lineman Will Clapp to a one-year contract. As the team noted in its announcement, Clapp can bring some versatility to the offensive line.

 

“Clapp, a former seventh-round pick in 2018, is a versatile lineman and has experience playing both center and guard,” the report noted, adding that Clapp spent two seasons with the Chargers and four years with the New Orleans Saints and started a career-high 11 games in 2023.

 

Bills Addressing Hole in the Line

The Bills lost an important piece of their offensive line when they parted ways with center Mitch Morse as part of a March 6 roster overhaul that saw several veteran players cut loose. Though the team generated more than $30 million in cap space through the series of moves, they also created a need at center as Morse had started all 17 games in 2023.

 

 

They found a steady hand in Clapp. The Athletic’s Daniel Popper noted that Clapp took over starting duties with the Chargers last season after Corey Linsley was injured, but has a reputation as a more one-dimensional player.

 

“Better pass protector than run blocker,” Popper noted, adding that Clapp would be an affordable option in free agency.

 

Despite his starting experience, Clapp could move into a depth role in Buffalo given the team’s reported plans to replace Morse with another player already on their roster.

 

Buffalo’s Plans for Connor McGovern

As The Atheltic’s Tim Graham reported, the Bills are expected to replace Morse by moving guard Connor McGovern over to center for the coming season. McGovern was originally drafted by the Dallas Cowboys to play center, but moved over to guard and played there almost exclusively.

 

The 30-year-old lineman told The Athletic that he anticipated a move back to center at some point in his career.

 

“But I always had the mindset that I eventually would be the center,” McGovern said. “It came sooner than I thought.”

 

McGovern admitted it would be difficult to fill in for Morse, a respected presence in the Bills’ locker room, but felt he was ready to take over at center.

 

“I grew up playing center,” McGovern said, “always having the ball in my hand, always being the tip of the spear.

 

“Those are going to be big shoes to fill. Mitch was a true leader. The guys loved him here, but I’m glad to be the one to step up after him.”

 

The Bills had a great deal of stability on their line last season, with their opening-day unit starting all 17 regular season games together and helping establish a renewed running game in addition to the potent air attack.

 

There could be more changes coming for the coming season, however. Graham reported that the Bills are likely to move David Edwards into McGovern’s old spot, a move that brought the approval of McGovern.

 

“I don’t think there’s going to be any drop-off,” McGovern said. “David Edwards is a very smart player. He knows the entire offense. I’m very comfortable with him going to the left side with Dion Dawkins.”

 

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