Orchard Park, NY — The Arizona Cardinals were the most aggressive team of many NFL clubs in the market for Cody Ford.
Things heated up in the final few days before Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Bean finally traded the former second-round pick to Arizona for a fifth-round pick.
When word broke in NFL circles that the 25-year-old Ford was running with another team during training camp, Bean said teams started picking up the phone.
That eventually led to the Bills being traded to Ford, which Bean traded to the draft in the 2019 NFL draft, which had nothing to do with his playstyle.
In fact, Bean said Ford was one of the team’s best offensive players last Saturday against the Denver Broncos in the 42-15 route. Bean had nowhere to keep Ford, who wanted an entry-level job.
“Ultimately, he didn’t want to start for us,” Bean said Tuesday at Biles Training Center. “We had said that this is the group we run with. That decision has been made.”
Left tackle Dion Dawkins, left guard Roger Saffold, center Mitch Morse, right guard Ryan Bates and right tackle David Quesenberry are the group that started the Bills against the Broncos. Year two is expected to begin when Spencer Brown recovers, but he’s still working his way back from an off-season back process.
Despite Ford’s strong performance in two preseason games, his desire to start over prompted Bean to find a new home.
“I know in my heart I wanted Cody to come here and have his best year in his fourth year and decide whether or not we sign him back,” Bean said. “The circumstances were, you know, Cody really wanted to start over and he felt like he was what he deserved. And for us, versatility is very important, and if we narrow it down, it eventually pays off and makes the most sense for Kodi. A team that has been so aggressive that I thought it made sense at the time to hopefully do a good job with next April.
Ford began his career just before countless injuries rushed the Bills to take him in. He’s played at many places in recent seasons, but he hasn’t been able to stay in one place consistently. The Bills played four tackles within the guard — Bobby Hart, Luke Tenuta, Quesenberry and Tommy Doyle — several times during training camp and preseason. The Bills clearly felt that Ford’s versatility was limited to two internal watch points. He left no stone unturned to deal with the aftermath of his rookie year.
Bean said he was disappointed to be traded with a player he believed in as a draft prospect. The way this situation has unfolded will force him to go back and re-evaluate his process. He said he blames Ford primarily for not working on himself.
“When you design a player, you want to design, develop and re-sign them. So it’s frustrating for me.”
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