Buffalo Bills add more than $8 million in cap space by releasing OL Daryl Williams and signing C Mitch Morse to 2-year extension

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills made multiple moves along the offensive line Monday, releasing offensive lineman Daryl Williams, signing center Mitch Morse to a two-year, $19.5 million extension and inking former Tennessee Titans guard Rodger Saffold III to a one-year deal.

The team also agreed to a two-year deal with former Washington defensive tackle Tim Settle, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

By releasing Williams, the team opens over $6 million in cap space, and the Morse deal lowers his $11.25 million cap hit for 2022 to $9 million. The extension includes $12 million guaranteed and a $7.5 million signing bonus.

Keeping Morse while lowering his cap hit for this year is a logical move for a player who was asked to take a pay cut last year. The soon-to-be 30-year-old is coming off a strong season and has become a reliable part of the line for quarterback Josh Allen over the past three years, but the team could not afford to keep him on for his prior cap amount.

"For me, personally, I'd love to retire in a Buffalo Bills uniform, and this gave me an opportunity to continue playing," Morse said. "I think both sides mutually came to a point where they're happy with the deal."

Replacing Williams' versatility and availability will be key, with depth along the interior of the offensive line now a need for Buffalo after it released guard Jon Feliciano in a cap-saving move earlier this month. Supporting Allen is one of the top priorities for this team, and investing in the offensive line is a significant part of that with two of the five starters from Week 1 of last year now off the roster.

After signing a three-year, $24 million contract with the Bills last offseason, Williams was moved from right tackle to right guard in 2021 following the emergence of third-round pick Spencer Brown at right tackle. Williams was slated to again be at guard in 2022, but he was set to account for over $9 million in cap space this year, a higher price than the Bills can afford to pay for a guard.

Williams started at both right guard and right tackle for the team during the 2021 season and earned his bigger deal last year after a successful one-year contract with the team in 2020. He started 33 games in his two seasons with the Bills, and as a tackle, he ranked 19th out of 68 qualifying players in pass block win rate. Buffalo is expected to offer a low-round tender for $2.4 million to restricted free-agent guard Ryan Bates, who started four regular-season games and both playoff games for the Bills last year at left guard.

The Bills also added Saffold to their roster on Monday. The Titans released Saffold in March in a salary-cap move. The 33-year-old lineman was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his 12-year career last season. He started 46 of 49 games during his tenure in Tennessee, but he struggled with numerous injuries this past season and finished having played 81% of the Titans' offensive snaps.

Saffold has 157 career starts in 160 games with the Titans and Rams, who selected him in the second round of the 2010 draft. He is expected to play at left guard but said he would be open to playing at other spots.

Saffold overlapped with the Bills' new offensive line coach, Aaron Kromer, from 2017 to '18 with the Rams.

"[Signed in Buffalo] just because of how close I feel like they are to a championship. I mean this is a real Super Bowl-caliber team," Saffold said. "As well just a great situation for me to be with one of my prior coaches that I played with in L.A. and we had an unbelievable line under Aaron Kromer."

Buffalo could also look to add a veteran tight end but secured help at wide receiver Sunday by inking Isaiah McKenzie to a two-year deal worth $4.4 million to keep one of Allen's targets on the roster. McKenzie said he wanted to stay in Buffalo after the loyalty the team had shown him.

"It didn't take much for me to come back," McKenzie said. "I really like being here."

Additionally, the Bills might look to make cost-saving moves with wide receiver Cole Beasley's trade request or potential release -- one of the most significant dominoes still to fall. Beasley is set to account for over $7 million against the cap, and the team would save $6 million with a trade or release.

ESPN's Turron Davenport contributed to this report.