Friday, August 31, 2012
Buffalo Bills cut-down analysis
By James Walker
Click here for a complete list of Buffalo Bills' roster moves.
Most significant move: The Bills kept four quarterbacks on their roster -- sort of. Buffalo retained backup Tyler Thigpen to be the emergency quarterback behind starter Ryan Fitzpatrick and No. 2 quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. This is surprising because the Bills worked the versatile Brad Smith extensively at quarterback this offseason. But it appears the Bills aren’t fully comfortable with Smith as the No. 3 quarterback at the moment. Another significant move decision was to release three productive wide receivers. Marcus Easley, Naaman Roosevelt and Derek Hagan were all competing for the No. 2 receiver role behind starter Steve Johnson. Different receivers made plays at different times, but no one in this trio really stepped up to claim a starting role. It turns out Buffalo parted ways with all three and will stick with Donald Jones as the starter opposite Johnson. But cutting Easley, Roosevelt and Hagan certainly affects Buffalo’s depth at wide receiver.
Onward and upward: Perhaps the player cut by the Bills who will be most sought after in free agency will be defensive tackle Dwan Edwards -- a solid player who could be a starter on some teams. But Buffalo has two stud defensive tackles in Marcell Dareus and a now-healthy Kyle Williams. The Bills would’ve liked to keep Edwards, but chances are his salary was too much for the role Buffalo had in mind for him in 2012. Edwards should have no problem finding a new team. Solid defensive tackles are hard to find.
What’s next: The Bills’ starters are set. This is a team that spent a lot of money and resources in free agency and the draft to put together a roster to try to compete with the New England Patriots in the AFC East. The only question now is depth. Does Buffalo have enough quality backups to sustain through injuries? That will be the focus as the team scans the waiver wires this weekend.