Bills cut 18, close in on 53-man limit

August, 30, 2013
8/30/13
7:15
PM ET

 
Click here for a look at the Buffalo Bills' latest roster moves.

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. Expect the Bills to turn to Rogers as their opening-day starter alongside McKelvin.

Quarterback shuffle continues: Besides Butler, the most notable player to be released was quarterback Matt Leinart. The Bills signed Leinart and traded for Thad Lewis last Sunday, one day after Kevin Kolb suffered a serious concussion. As it turned out, the preseason finale was a competition between Leinart and Lewis for the Bills' third quarterback job. Leinart threw two interceptions in the first five possessions of the game, ending his night. Lewis fared better in the turnover category, but still only completed 44 percent of his passes, going 7-for-16 in the game.

What's next: The Bills released 18 players and placed another three -- Kolb, wide receiver Brad Smith, and running back Drew Smith -- on injured reserve. With 76 players on their roster entering Friday, the Bills are now down to 55. Safety Jairus Byrd's roster exemption has expired, meaning that they will, at a minimum, need to two more moves by Saturday's 6 p.m. ET deadline. Linebacker Bryan Scott could be one of those cuts; Byrd had a tweet earlier Friday that suggested Scott had been released.

Bills cuts: QB Matt Leinart, 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, OLB Kourtnei Brown, OLB Keith Pough, ILB Brian Smith, CB Crezdon Butler, CB T.J. Heath, CB Kip Edwards, S Jordan Dangerfield.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

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