BEREA — Guard Wyatt Teller was blindsided by his trade from the Bills to the Browns on Thursday.
“No. No, no, no, no, no,” he said Monday when asked if he saw it coming. “I was in the hot tub getting ready to go for a game.”
Life comes at you fast in the NFL. Teller (6-foot-4, 315 pounds) had been drafted by the Bills in the fifth round only a year earlier and started seven games at left guard. He’d become good friends with quarterback Josh Allen.
“A whirlwind,” Teller said of the last five days, which included his first practice with the Browns on Monday. “Yeah, it was kinda crazy, I was getting ready to play in a game last Thursday and I get a call.”
Bills general manager Brandon Beane wanted to talk.
“I say, ‘Oh, gosh, it can’t be good,’” Teller said. “But it ended up being an amazing thing.”
He didn’t know what to do when told about the trade.
“The old saying is, this isn’t my first rodeo, but that was my first rodeo,” Teller said. “It’s a whole new experience. Right after he told me what happened I was like, ‘So, do I go play?’ They were like, ‘No, no, no. You’re going to get a call.’”
The message from Browns GM John Dorsey was much easier to accept. The Browns had given up fifth- and sixth-round picks in 2020 for Teller and a seventh-rounder in 2021.
He joins a competition to be the starting right guard.
“When you first look at being traded, especially as a young guy, you get in your own head a little bit and then you realize that you’re going to a team that wants you,” he said. “That’s kind of how the Browns went about it, they showed that they wanted me. It’s an absolute blessing, for one to be here, two, to compete on this team. We’re talking about a really good team.”
The Browns have been searching for a starting right guard since Kevin Zeitler was traded to the Giants in March for defensive end Olivier Vernon. Eric Kush has been with the starters for a month, but the Browns traded for Teller then Packers guard Justin McCray on Saturday.
“We have three guys or even four guys at that spot that could play for us,” coach Freddie Kitchens said. “We are going to go through the week and decide at the end of the week, but right now Kush is our starter and I expect him to be starting on Sunday.
“We are going to keep working with them and see.”
Teller is more experienced at left guard but has played on the right side.
“Obviously the dream is to start everywhere you go. Start every game,” he said. “It’s kinda just taking it day by day, trying to improve, learn the plays, basically take away any doubt of anybody else. That’s kind of the mindset, play your butt off and embrace what they’re doing here.”
Teller said “a character” is the best way to describe Allen, who was the No. 7 pick in the draft last year, six behind Baker Mayfield.
“I’m excited to work with him. I’m excited to work with two guys that proved they can do it week in and week out,” Teller said. “It’s a blessing to be a young guy blocking for young guys that want to be your friend and hang out with you.”
Teller’s parents had made the trip from Virginia to Buffalo for the preseason finale, and he said his mom found out about the trade before he did.
“I don’t know how that’s possible,” he said. “Mom power.”
A more logical explanation is through social media. Teller gave up Twitter a couple of years ago and Facebook a little bit after. He was off social media by his senior year at Virginia Tech.
“If used correctly, it’s an amazing thing,” he said. “Honestly, I just don’t care. That’s the biggest thing.
“As a Christian man, there’s a lot of stuff that pulls you away from the Lord on social media. I was in relationship, girls hitting you up, all this other stuff, people saying bad things about you.
“Everything’s an overreaction. So being able to take everything with a grain of salt kind of got me through social media, then I was just like, I have everybody’s number that I really love, so I can call them and talk to them.”