Bills G Jon Feliciano: “I didn’t want to go anywhere”

Sports

Buffalo Bills offensive guard Jon Feliciano (76) during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Brandon Beane has done it again.

Beane found a way to keep another one of their biggest upcoming free agents after re-signing linebacker Matt Milano and offensive tackle Daryl Williams. This time it was guard Jon Feliciano.

“It was definitely not a fun free agency, they didn’t know what was gonna happen but luckily we’ve got triple B over there Big Baller Beane knowing what to do so thank god for Beane, huh?,” Jon Feliciano said on Monday during a zoom call with reporters.

Before the NFL’s legal tampering period began (12:01 am on Monday), the Bills announced on Sunday they have agreed to a three-year contract with Feliciano. During this time, teams can negotiate with free agents with teams able to officially sign free agents starting on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

And for Feliciano, this was a no brainer.

“To be honest I didn’t want to go anywhere. I love the city of Buffalo and that guy behind me is kind of my guy [Josh Allen] so it was kind of the easy decision,” Feliciano said.

Feliciano first signed a two-year, $7.25 million contract with the Bills in 2019 as a free agent after spending the first four seasons of his career with the Raiders.

According to multiple reports, Feliciano’s deal is worth up to $17 million. And while it seems like he could have gotten more money somewhere else if he tested the free agent market, to him that wasn’t worth leaving Buffalo.

“Probably a little less but money’s only so much as I could have made a couple extra here and there but would I have the same structure I would if I would have left? Probably not. So having Beane and McDermott on my side and also having young goofy behind me, it’s pretty great,” Feliciano explained.

Coming into the 2020 season, the Bills returned all five of their starting offensive linemen. But despite that, the continuity was never there due to injuries and cutting Quinton Spain (one of their starters from 2019). Sean McDermott was constantly forced to shuffle guys around.

Feliciano was one of those players who missed time as he missed the first part of the season with a torn pectoral muscle. But now after re-signing Feliciano, Williams and with center Mitch Morse taking a $3 million pay cut, the Bills now once again bring back all five of their starters (Dion Dawkins and Cody Ford, who suffered a season-ending injury, are back as well.)

“It’s huge. Whenever you can keep the same core group of guys around for multiple years it helps everything gel. We’ll be able to just get to the point a lot easier. We all our familiar with the system so when things pop up it’s gonna streamline the solution a lot easier,” Feliciano said.

Even with agreeing to less money than he could have possibly made somewhere else, the culture in Buffalo is something Feliciano didn’t want to leave and Beane is at the top of that list of where it starts.

“The thing that sets him apart is he’s a real dude. What he tells you is what it is. He’s not trying to pull some snakey stuff behind your back. He’s gonna give you the real and players respect that. And he’s always around. I see Beane probably every day when I’m in the building and he’s just a guy that players respect because he’s not just upstairs pulling the strings. He’s actually down there,” Feliciano explained.

There once was a perception not too long ago that free agents did not want to come to Buffalo and that’s clearly not the case anymore. Not only are players coming to play for the Bills, they’re actually taking pay cuts and agreeing to potentially less money to stay.

“I think when you have a guy like Josh Allen leading your franchise with a guy that players can trust like Beane and McDermott honestly that’s where it starts. I think that’s why you see a lot of us coming back and taking less money or what not just to be able to go to work every day and know that we’re all truly going for the same goal,” Feliciano said.

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