Saturday, August 31, 2013
Buffalo Bills cut-down analysis
By Mike Rodak
Most significant move: The Buffalo Bills were expected to start fourth-year cornerback Crezdon Butler in Week 1 in place of an injured Stephon Gilmore. However, Butler played 54 defensive snaps in the preseason finale Thursday night, a sign that his roster status was in doubt. Slotting Butler as the starter was more out of necessity than anything else. With Leodis McKelvin and Justin Rogers hampered by injuries this preseason, the Bills found themselves extremely thin at the position. Butler did not help his cause by struggling against the Detroit Lions in Thursday's loss. He was released on Friday. Expect the Bills to turn to Rogers as their opening-day starter alongside McKelvin.
Deck cleared at quarterback, again: Besides Butler, the most notable players to be released were quarterbacks Matt Leinart and Thad Lewis. The Bills signed Leinart and traded for Lewis last Sunday, one day after Kevin Kolb suffered a serious concussion. As it turned out, neither made the roster. Leinart threw two interceptions in the first five possessions of the game, ending his night. Lewis fared better in the turnover category, but still completed only 44 percent of his passes, going 7-for-16 in the game.
What's next: The Bills' roster now stands at 50 players, giving them flexibility going into Saturday evening and Sunday. Nearly 100 players were waived on Friday, and it's possible the Bills placed a claim on one or more of them. If so, they could be awarded players off waivers at 6 p.m. ET Saturday. Hundreds more players will hit the waiver wire at that time, and the Bills can place claims on them up until noon Sunday. For players released who had four or more seasons of experience, Buffalo will be able to sign those players at any time. Either way, look for the Bills to be in the market at quarterback and cornerback.
Bills moves: Cut: QB Matt Leinart, QB Thad Lewis, RB Zach Brown, RB Kendall Gaskins, WR Brandon Kaufman, TE Dorin Dickerson, TE Nick Provo, T Zebrie Sanders, G Antoine Caldwell, G Zack Chibane, C David Snow, DL Jarron Gilbert, DL Torell Troup, DL Izaan Cross, OLB Jamie Blatnick, OLB Kourtnei Brown, OLB Keith Pough, ILB Bryan Scott, ILB Brian Smith, CB Crezdon Butler, CB T.J. Heath, CB Kip Edwards, S Jordan Dangerfield. Placed on injured reserve: QB Kevin Kolb, RB Drew Smith, WR Brad Smith.