The Cincinnati Bengals dominated the Buffalo Bills last weekend in the AFC’s Divisional Playoff round, winning by a final score of 27-10 and punctuating Buffalo’s season with a whimper.
From the end of last year’s Super Bowl until Sunday afternoon, the Bills were oddsmakers’ favorites to hoist a Lombardi this season — but no cigar.
Vikings Short Timer Lands with Bills
So, Buffalo’s offseason began prematurely. But before that, one of its first orders of business was grabbing a former Minnesota Vikings player on a ‘futures’ contract — center Greg Mancz.
ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg tweeted late last week, “The Bills have signed OL Greg Mancz to the practice squad and placed OL Alec Anderson on practice squad injured reserve. Mancz is back after being waived by the Vikings earlier this week.”
Remember that tender period a few weeks ago when Garrett Bradbury was injured with a back malady, Austin Schlottmann got hurt against the Green Bay Packers, and Chris Reed looked terrible during his Vikings debut? That’s when Minnesota’s general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah signed Mancz, a veteran offensive lineman. He was a contingency plan for Bradbury and Reed, with the postseason mere weeks away.
Of course, the playoffs ended for the Vikings too soon — kind of like the Bills — losing to the New York Giants in Wildcard Round, 31-24. Mancz never formally played on a regular season or playoff field for Minnesota and hence only stuck around for about 2.5 weeks.
The 30-year-old journeyman center has 64 games of NFL experience and will now inhabit the Bills roster orbit. Buffalo signed Mancz last March, kept him around until end-of-summer roster trimdowns, and plopped the Toldeo alumnus on the practice squad. But he was released in November, enabling Mancz to later join the Vikings for a brief period.
The Houston Texans found Mancz via undrafted free agency in 2015. He played 58 games for the Texans while starting 28, mostly between 2016 and 2018. He joined the Dolphins, Bills, and Vikings thereafter.
The Bills have four total Vikings somewhere on their roster: Zach Davidson (TE), Stefon Diggs (WR), Case Keenum (QB) — and Mancz. Former Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier is the team’s defensive coordinator and James Cook, a Bills running back, is the younger brother of Dalvin Cook.
Last week, the Vikings signed these men to future contracts:
- WR Trishton Jackson
- WR Blake Proehl
- TE Nick Muse
- C Josh Sokol
- OLB Benton Whitley
- CB Tay Gowan
NFL free agency begins on March 15th.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).
All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.