With a strong roster, several players the Bills cut will sign with other teams

With a strong roster, several players the Bills cut will sign with other teams

ORCHARD PARK — Josh Allen said he doesn’t envy the job Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott will have next week as they reduce the Buffalo Bills roster to the league’s mandatory 53 players at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

“I know Brandon Beane has a tough job ahead of him,” Allen said after learning that he and most of the starters will not play in the preseason finale on Friday night at the Carolinas. “I’m sure he wants to see some guys out there who maybe haven’t been there enough or need to be there more.”

The game against the Panthers will be dedicated to taking one last look at players who are on the fine line between making the early-betting favorite team to win the Super Bowl or becoming one of several hundred names in the NFL. resignation thread.

“I mean, it’s tough,” said nickel cornerback Taron Johnson, a 2018 fourth-round pick who had to sweat the final cut five summers ago. “That’s just the commercial aspect. I feel like we have a lot of competition on this team everywhere, so I feel like this is a sign of a really good team, just having guys here competing every day to get that job.”

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As the Bills improved year after year in the Beane/McDermott Era, there were fewer and fewer big decisions to be made on final cut day because the roster was so well constructed. Beane admitted on Tuesday that about 50 spots have already been decided, and most of them were likely decided before training even began.

But the flip side of that coin is that picking those few end players has become increasingly difficult because the competition is so fierce. And taking the next step, trying to get laid-off players back on the practice team is an uphill task because, unlike those dry years when no one paid attention to the Buffalo castaways, now, the Bills are unleashing talent.

When the Bills announce their final roster on Tuesday, I would expect several of their released players to be signed by other teams. Here are five that could end up elsewhere in the NFL:

Tight end Quintin Morris

Bills tight end Quintin Morris (85) makes an over-the-shoulder catch ahead of Trevor Denbow in the second half during the Buffalos' 27-24 win over Indianapolis in their first preseason game on Saturday, the 13th. August 2022 at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park.

Bills tight end Quintin Morris (85) makes an over-the-shoulder catch ahead of Trevor Denbow in the second half during the Buffalos’ 27-24 win over Indianapolis in their first preseason game on Saturday, the 13th. August 2022 at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park.

OJ Howard’s contract, and the cap the Bills would have to absorb (about $3.2 million), make cutting him a reckless proposition. That’s why I think he’ll be part of the team, as will locker room favorite Tommy Sweeney behind starter Dawson Knox, though I also think Beane could be working to find a business partner that would at least save the Bills their base salary of US. $1.9.

Why would Beane do this? Because Morris shone enough in practice and the first two games of preseason – he started last week against Denver – and he could be a low-cost player the Bills would like to keep and develop.

If he gets cut, he’ll get attention from outside the organization and you can almost be sure that Giants GM Joe Schoen will sign him right away. In fact, the Giants may be signing several ex-Bills, given the knowledge they have of the Buffalo roster between Schoen, head coach Brian Daboll and several assistants.

Morris has improved as a blocker, which is impressive because, at 1.80m and 113.8kg, he is undersized for the position. But his main strength is that he was a former wide receiver at Bowling Green College who became a tight end in the second half of his career.

So there are two things that are intriguing: he has the speed and reception skills that teams now love in tight ends, and he also has room to grow. Because of that, nothing would surprise me about Howard, whether it’s an exchange or a release.

Defensive tackle Brandin Bryant

Buffalo defensive end Daniel Joseph (96), held by Colts Jordan Murray (71), and defensive tackle Brandin Bryant (93), right, attack the Colts quarterback during the Bills' 27-24 victory over the Indianapolis in their preseason game on Saturday, August 13, 2022 at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park.

Buffalo defensive end Daniel Joseph (96), held by Colts Jordan Murray (71), and defensive tackle Brandin Bryant (93), right, attack the Colts quarterback during the Bills’ 27-24 victory over the Indianapolis in their preseason game on Saturday, August 13, 2022 at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park.

He is caught up in a numbers game following the Bills’ offseason free agent additions of DaQuan Jones, Tim Settle and Jordan Phillips, who were joined by Ed Oliver. Also, Eli Ankou is a veteran who will not be subject to exemptions, so he will almost certainly be cut and then brought back to the practice squad.

Bryant is the sixth man in line and needs to go through exemptions. Given the way he played, the Bills would love to have him back on the practice team, but there will be teams willing to give him a chance because he’s a mature 28-year-old with some advantages.

He’s had an indirect run in the NFL since joining the league with Seattle as an undrafted free agent in 2016. He didn’t start in his first game until 2019 when he was with the Browns, and then he was released by the Dolphins in 2020. got attached to the Bills and played in five games in the past two years.

Defensive Mike Love

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Lynn Bowden (15) attempts to break a tackle by Buffalo Bills defensive end Mike Love (56) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, January 3, 2021, in Orchard Park, NY (AP Photo/John Munson)

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Lynn Bowden (15) attempts to break a tackle by Buffalo Bills defensive end Mike Love (56) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, January 3, 2021, in Orchard Park, NY (AP Photo/John Munson)

If it feels like love has been around forever, it kind of has. He originally came to the Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2018, but spent most of his freshman year on the practice team before reaching the final three games.

He spent 2019 on injured reserve and returned to practice for most of 2020 and 2021, appearing in just one game. But in every boot camp, Love seems to shine because he has speed pushing the limits.

With Von Miller, Greg Rousseau, Boogie Basham, AJ Epenesa and Shaq Lawson in front of him, there’s no way he could make the 53-man roster. If he is available, he has a good chance of signing somewhere else because teams are always looking for pass rushers.

Josh Thomas Security

The Bills have been experimenting with the safety position, giving reps to a pair of cornerbacks, Cam Lewis and Nick McCloud. That looks like an ominous sign for Thomas, who has been on the practice team for nearly all of the first two seasons he was with Buffalo.

The depth chart is set with Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Jaquan Johnson, and Damar Hamlin, so Thomas isn’t beating anyone there. Lewis and McCloud are becoming more valuable for being able to play corner and safety in a pinch, so one of them could make the 53-man roster, and the other could end up on the practice team.

My guess is that Lewis will be part of the team, Thomas and McCloud will be cut and therefore could be claimed by another team.

Running after Duke Johnson

Bills running back Duke Johnson (22) clears the missed tackle of Denver's Jonathan Harris (92) and runs for his second touchdown of the second half during the Bills' preseason game against Denver on Saturday. , August 20, 2022 at Highmark Stadium.  Buffalo won the game 42-15.

Bills running back Duke Johnson (22) clears the missed tackle of Denver’s Jonathan Harris (92) and runs for his second touchdown of the second half during the Bills’ preseason game against Denver on Saturday. , August 20, 2022 at Highmark Stadium. Buffalo won the game 42-15.

He was the consolation prize in free agency when the Bills’ deal to sign running back JD McKissic away from the Commanders fell through. Beane, looking to add a pass to recover, turned to Johnson, but when he also selected James Cook in the second round of the draft a month later, that essentially doomed Johnson.

Cook, Devin Singletary and Zack Moss will be the three primary centre-backs, and Taiwan Jones will likely be retained because he is a key special-team player. The only way Johnson can make the team is if the Bills decide to keep five defenders, or move away from the 34-year-old Jones, but we all know how much McDermott loves the special teams guys, especially Jones.

Johnson is an eight-year veteran who, at 28, still has a lot to offer. He has 311 career receptions for 2,870 yards and 12 touchdowns and can certainly help a team lacking running backs.

Sal Maiorana can be contacted at maiorana@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @salmaiorana. To subscribe to Sal’s new twice-weekly newsletter, Bills Blast, follow this link: https://profile.democratandchronicle.com/newsletters/bills-blast

This article originally appeared in Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Buffalo Bills roster cuts: 5 players who will sign with other teams

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