After constructing a roster that is arguably the league’s deepest, the Buffalo Bills must now get their player count down to 53.
The Bills looked stellar in the preseason, going 3-0 in a slate of games in which many players on the roster bubble shined. Buffalo, as is the case with every other team, can only carry 53 players on its active roster, but there are no fewer than 60 who could make a legitimate case for cracking the group.
As general manager Brandon Beane alluded to during the broadcast of his team’s third preseason game, if the cutdown to 53 is easy, then the roster isn’t constructed all that solidly. Cutting this team down to 53 players will be anything but easy.
Here are the players cut or moved by the team ahead of Tuesday’s deadline:
RB Kerrith Whyte
Buffalo signed Kerrith Whyte a few days before its preseason finale. The former Florida Atlantic back got five carries in the team’s win over Green Bay, picking up 11 yards. The Bills announced his release Monday morning.
WR Brandon Powell
Buffalo announced the release of wide receiver Brandon Powell on Monday. He competed with Isaiah McKenzie and rookie Marquez Stevenson for the primary returner job throughout the offseason, never really looking like a front-runner in the crowded competition. He caught eight passes for 52 yards throughout the preseason, this coming on 75 offensive snaps.
CB Tim Harris
Tim Harris was signed alongside Whyte before Buffalo’s final preseason game. He played 17 defensive snaps in his lone game as a Bill, recording two tackles.
DE Darryl Johnson
The Bills traded defensive end Darryl Johnson to the Carolina Panthers on Monday afternoon, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The former seventh-round pick has been a key special-teamer for Buffalo throughout the past two seasons, appearing on 66% and 58% of the team’s special teams snaps in the 2019 and 2020 seasons, respectively. He flashed as a defender in the 2021 preseason, but he’s, unfortunately, a victim of the numbers game: there were six defensive ends above him on Buffalo’s depth chart.
OL Jack Anderson
Buffalo released Jack Anderson, its seventh-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, on Tuesday morning, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. He played 64 snaps at right guard throughout the preseason, allowing just one pressure, according to Pro Football Focus. Pelissero reports that the Bills hope to get Anderson back on the practice squad.
WR Tanner Gentry
Josh Allen’s college teammate won’t appear on the active roster, but he could be sticking around in Buffalo. The Bills cut Tanner Gentry, a wide receiver who caught five passes for 38 yards in the preseason, on Tuesday, according to Pelissero, but the team would like to get him back on the practice squad.
OL Jamil Douglas
Buffalo parted ways with offensive lineman Jamil Douglas on Tuesday, per Pelissero. He played on 106 snaps in the preseason, half at left guard and the other half at center. He didn’t allow any sacks or pressures, according to PFF, but he never looked like a frontrunner in what was a crowded offensive line group.
TE Nate Becker
The Buffalo News’ Jay Skurski reports that the Bills plan to release tight end Nate Becker. The 25-year-old, who joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2019, has spent the last two seasons on Buffalo’s practice squad. He caught three passes on four targets this preseason.
HB Antonio Williams
Buffalo is set to release fan-favorite running back Antonio Williams, according to The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia. Williams, who was frequently on and off the Bills’ practice squad last season, saw time in Week 17 of his rookie year, rushing for 63 yards and two scores on 12 carries. He failed to carry over that production into the 2021 preseason, however, picking up just 15 yards on seven carries. Buscaglia reports that Williams could remain in Buffalo on the practice squad.
TE Quintin Morris
WIVB’s Heather Prusak reported that the Bills are releasing tight end Quintin Morris on Tuesday morning. The undrafted free agent showed flashes throughout training camp, but didn’t really show anything in preseason, catching just one pass.
WR Steven Sims
The Bills claimed wide receiver Steven Sims, a dynamic athlete who, at times, flashed with the Washington Football Team, off waivers last week, but his stint in Buffalo appears to be short-lived. Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News reports that the team is expected to cut Sims on Tuesday. He played on just nine offensive snaps in Buffalo’s preseason finale, his lone game with the team.
TE Jacob Hollister
Perhaps the first surprise release of this year’s cut down, the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that the Bills are set to part ways with tight end Jacob Hollister. The 27-year-old, who signed a one-year deal with the team in the offseason, looked primed to be Buffalo’s backup tight end. It’s certainly possible that this could still be the case, as Hollister could potentially re-sign with the Bills after the team moves a few players on its initial 53-man roster to the injured reserve list, but as of right now, Hollister is off the roster.
CB Cam Lewis
Buffalo plans to release third-year cornerback Cam Lewis, according to NYUpstate’s Matt Parrino. The former Buffalo Bull signed with the Bills after going undrafted in 2019, spending his rookie season on the team’s practice squad. He was used sparingly in his second season, even starting the team’s Week 5 game at nickel before being placed on injured reserve in late October. He played on 84 snaps in the 2021 preseason, allowing eight receptions on 11 targets, according to PFF.
S Josh Thomas
The Bills released safety Josh Thomas on Tuesday, according to TBN’s Jay Skurski. Undoubtedly one of the more difficult cuts the team had to make, Thomas shined throughout the offseason, backing up a strong training camp with a preseason in which he tallied five tackles and one sack. According to Skurski, Buffalo hopes to get Thomas back on its practice squad, where he spent the entirety of his rookie season.
Here’s a full list of the team’s releases from its official Twitter account:
We’ve released 23 players from the roster.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) August 31, 2021