The discussion all preseason was about how hard it would be for Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott to choose the best 53 players for the Bills initial 2021 roster.
As it turned out, the biggest surprise is that fans and media had to wait nearly two full hours after the 4pm deadline for the team to announce their final cuts.
The top headline, for now, is that long snapper Reid Ferguson was released. However, he is expected to return to the roster in the next 24 hours. It’s part of a roster rule loophole Brandon Beane has exploited before.
Any player with less than four years service time in the NFL must pass through waivers once they are released on cutdown day. That means younger players on the roster bubble that the Bills cut could be claimed by an opponent via the waiver priority system.
However, veterans who have played at least four years are free agents when cut and can do as they please. That includes re-signing with the team who just cut them once that team opens a roster spot by placing a player on injured reserve.
Ferguson will likely do this for the Bills. It’s possible the second most surprising name on the Buffalo cut list could be in the same boat.
Jacob Hollister was one of the names reported early on cutdown as a casualty in Buffalo. The tight end was signed as a free agent in March, but had a quiet preseason that included an early injury.
The Bills only elected to keep two tight ends (Dawson Knox and Tommy Sweeney) plus fullback/tight end hybrid Reggie Gilliam. It’s possible Hollister could also return to the roster this week.
Harrison Phillips is the most likely candidate for the injured reserve. He re-injured the surgically repaired left knee against the Bears and Sean McDermott thought it could be a while before Phillips would be available. Marquez Stevenson and Isaiah McKenzie also have injuries that could require IR time.
Beyond the possible roster game cuts, the Bills also released quarterbacks Jake Fromm and Davis Webb. Both are candidates to end up on the team’s practice squad. Safety Josh Thomas, who had a strong preseason, was also cut on Tuesday.
Among the notable players to make the team was wideout Jake Kumerow. He had a touchdown catch against the Bears and was a standout nearly the entire camp.
The full list of players released by the Bills on Tuesday is below:
- G Jack Anderson
- TE Nate Becker
- DT Brandin Bryant
- OL Jordan Devey
- OL Jamil Douglas
- LS Reid Ferguson
- QB Jake Fromm
- WR Tanner Gentry
- LB Joe Giles-Harris
- CB Olaijah Griffin
- T Bobby Hart
- WR Isaiah Hodgins
- TE Jacob Hollister
- LB Marquel Lee
- CB Cam Lewis
- DE Mike Love
- CB Nick McCloud
- TE Quintin Morris
- WR Steven Sims
- S Josh Thomas
- QB Davis Webb
- CB Rachad Wildgoose
- RB Antonio Williams