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Thoughts on Bills cutting Drayton Florence

5/4/2012

The Buffalo Bills announced the release of veteran cornerback Drayton Florence Friday. The move paves the way for rookie first-round pick Stephon Gilmore to take over the position.

Here are several thoughts on the move:

  • Cutting Florence shows a tremendous amount of confidence in Gilmore, who has yet to play a down in the NFL. Gilmore is viewed as one of the safest and most NFL-ready players in this draft. Buffalo is ready to put him to the test after investing the No. 10 overall pick. Gilmore is projected to be a Week 1 starter.

  • Some might be surprised that Florence was cut after being one of the team's most productive corners. He recorded 50 tackles and three interceptions in 2011. However, Buffalo wants to get younger at the position and decided to cut ties with Florence, 31. Buffalo has a trio of young corners in Gilmore, Aaron Williams and Leodis McKelvin who it wants to get on the field. All were high draft picks, and the Bills are ready to see if some or all are ready for more playing time.

  • This move puts some pressure on Bills safeties George Wilson and Jairus Byrd. The Bills need their veteran safeties to take command of the secondary. Buffalo will certainly be more athletic at corner next season but lost some experience and veteran presence in Florence.