What happens to Kelsay, Merriman?
With the rather high profile moves made by the Buffalo Bills within the past seven days, a couple of high-cap number players already on the roster at the defensive end position may have some reasons to worry.
The Bills inked Mario Williams (6 years) and Mark Anderson (4 years) to very lucrative contracts, which leave Chris Kelsay and Shawne Merriman in a bit of an awkward position. Each man has a cap hit of $5.75 million for the 2012 season.
Many look at those two as players that could potentially be cap casualties at some point during training camp. When asked about it on Wednesday, here's what General Manager Buddy Nix had to say:
"It just seems they got competition, really. And that’s what we’re trying to do at every position. Chan’s philosophy and ours is to put as many good players as we can at each position and let the best ones start and play."
Logic would indicate that both Kelsay and Merriman will go to training camp, since the cost of bringing them there would be low. In fact, having both of those players on the roster might get the Bills as close to a complete defensive line (starters and depth) than they've had in quite some time. But if the team sees someone presently on a roster that gets cut, perhaps one of those two could be the first to go from the defensive end position.
If not, I could envision a scenario that has both staying on the roster. With Mario Williams as a three-down player, Mark Anderson as a two-down player, Chris Kelsay helping stuff the run and Shawne Merriman being brought in on obvious passing situations. It seems like a group of four men with different types of games that can complement one another.
Also, it's widely thought of that Dwan Edwards, although a solid player in the 3-4 last season, does not fit what the Bills are trying to do. He'll likely be brought to camp as well, but the numbers crunch may just make him a cap casualty at some point in time.
All in all, this has been the first time in a few years where the Bills are in a spot where they may have too much depth at certain positions. My how things change in just a couple of years.