Bills acquire OL Ryan Bates in trade with Eagles for DE Eli Harold
In an effort to beef up their offensive line, the Buffalo Bills completed a trade on Friday to acquire guard Ryan Bates, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. In exchange, the Bills are sending veteran defensive end Eli Harold to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Bates is a 6-foot-4, 306-pound offensive lineman from Penn State. After entering the 2019 NFL Draft, the former Nittany Lion went unclaimed, later signing a contract as an undrafted free agent with the Eagles.
Harold, 25, signed a contract with Buffalo in the offseason earlier this year. He’s a journeyman linebacker/defensive end who previously played with the Detroit Lions in the 2018 season. Harold was traded to Detroit from the San Francisco 49ers in August of 2018 for a conditional 2020 draft pick.
Before that, the 6-foot-3, 255-pound Harold spent three seasons with the Niners. The Bay Area franchise selected him in the third round of the 2015 draft.
In 13 games last season, Harold recorded 10 combined tackles, four sacks, four tackles for loss, and five QB hits.
The Bills are aiming to improve their quarterback protection; they finished in the middle of the pack in times sacked last season with 16 allowed sacks. On 7.6% of the time when attempting a pass, a Bills QB was sacked, tied for the 11th-worst in the NFL in 2018. The Bills attempted to remedy their pocket protection by signing center/guard Spencer Long to a three-year contract in the offseason. Long, 28, last played for the New York Jets.
Buffalo also signed veteran center Mitch Morse from the Kansas City Chiefs to a four-year deal worth $44 million. It drafted a guard (Cody Ford) in the second round of this year’s draft.