Bills Get Down To 53
The Bills finished up their pre season work this week and now get set for the coming season. There final preparation included a preseason win against Detroit and final roster moves that included 19 player cuts, 1 trade, and three injury moves. We give you our take of all the news from the week:
Webmasters Note: This will be the last week in review for the off season. As we have done in the past, when the season starts we will backup our latest news section and archive that. The week in review will return next off season.
The Bills wrapped up the preseason with a record of 3-1 thanks to their 22-16 win over Detroit on Thursday night. The starters played very sparingly and the backups led by Alex Van Pelt and Jason Johnson did very well. The team opened up a 14-0 lead before allowing 16 straight Lion points. A 16 play drive led by Johnson led to the winning score, a one yard plunge by Olandis Gary. Our Take: Antonio Brown had his second punt return for a score this summer and that allowed him to make the team. Josh Stamer also made the team based on his play once again leading the team with seven tackles. Despite a bad snap, Jon Dorenbos made the team. Olandis Gary showed the lions enough that they traded for him.
The team released 19 players this week, traded one, and placed two on injured lists as they got their roster down to the 53 man limit. Gone are: WRs Andre Rone, James Jett, Charles Johnson and Rodney Wright, DBs Jerton Evans, Marcus Floyd, Tony Driver, Ahmad Brooks, and Scott Turner. OL Mike Houghton, and Richard Seals, TEs Brady McDonnell, and Ray Thomas, DEs Marcus Jones and Grant Irons, RB Ken Simonton, and De'Mond Parker, LB Brandon Spoon, and QB Jason Johnson. The team got down to 53 men then by trading Olandis Gary to Detroit for a conditional future draft pick. They also placed QB Travis Brown and OL Gary Byrd on injured reserve. Willis McGahee was placed on the reserve/injured list. That means he doesn't count on the roster and can't begin practicing until after week 6. Once he begins practicing they have 21 days to activate him or place him on IR. Our Take: The moves that raised eyebrows was keeping only two active quarterbacks. Brown isn't that hurt that he needed to be put on season ending injured reserve. Johnson showed a lot in the Lions game, expect him to make the practice squad, but why couldn't he be #3? He had been re-signed on Monday after being cut the previous week because of Brown's injury and performed well under tough circumstances. Expect a QB to be picked up. The team kept specialists Antonio Brown and Jon Dorenbos. The new long snapper struggled a bit, don't be shocked if he goes to make room for a QB. Jones leaving is a heart breaking story. He battled hard to come back from his knee surgeries but he just wasn't getting there quick enough. Ryan Neufeld was also a surprise roster spot winner at tight end. The Gary trade makes sense since the team is high on Joe Burns. The trade also makes you think that they believe Willis McGahee really will contribute this year. If he doesn't, and Travis Henry gets hurt, this trade can come back to haunt the team. The cuts were tough calls, deciding on five players for the practice squad will be just as tough.
The team goes into the season in very good shape injury-wise. The only player banged up against Detroit was Ruben Brown. He suffered a bruised hand but will be fine for the opener. Travis Henry and Jonas Jennings missed the week with their injuries but will be ready to go for the opener. Travis Brown's dislocated finger was surgically repaired as a pin was placed in it. He was expected to miss at least four weeks before the team placed him on injured reserve. Angelo Crowell was the only other player shaken up against Detroit but he's fine. Our Take: The main goal of the summer was a success, no serious injuries to major contributors.
Contract talks continue with Antoine Winfield. He has said he wants a new deal done before the season starts or else he'll wait until free agency starts. The Bills were suppose to send an offer to him last week. Our Take: Don't be surprised if a deal happens this week, if not, Winfield will test the free agent waters. We say, lock him up now, while the salary cap money is there.
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