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Bills Beat Blog

By Joe Buscaglia
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Tracking the Bills' march to 53

The Buffalo Bills, like all other teams around the National Football League, have to get their active rosters down to just 53 players by 4 pm on Saturday, August 30. As the reports of releases come through, we'll compile them all right here and give instant analysis along with it.

The Bills are at 75 players, and with the Nigel Bradham suspension (who doesn't count against the roster for the first week), they only have to release 21 players to get down to 53. Who will go?

Here is what has happened so far:

UPDATE: The Bills have announced the release of 10 players

QB Jeff Tuel
Analysis: Although not completely surprising considering the string of bad performances Jeff Tuel had throughout practices and the preseason games, the Bills felt like the time was right to let Tuel walk. The Bills always had high hopes for Tuel as a longterm potential backup, but he just didn't make the necessary strides in his second year to warrant a spot on the active roster. In 2013, the Bills were scared to cut Tuel because of how well he showed in the preseason games. Perhaps this move is to try to sneak him on to the practice squad and keep him in house. Either way, Tuel will not be a part of the initial 53.

WR T.J. Graham
Analysis: After two disappointing seasons with the Bills, the team has finally decided to move on from former third-round selection and wide receiver T.J. Graham. The wideout struggled with confidence and with his hands at the beginning of training camp, and could never overcome the positive play exhibited by both Marcus Easley and Chris Hogan for the majority of the summer. The final stats on Graham: 31 games, 16 starts, 54 catches, 683 yards and three touchdowns.

OL Doug Legursky
Analysis: The Bills signed Doug Legursky in 2013 to compete for the starting left guard job and underwhelmed in his time on the field. Upon entering the offseason, the team made it a priority to upgrade the offensive line in any way possible, and did so by adding three rookies and signing a free agent. In a battle with Kraig Urbik near the end of training camp to be thebackup center, Legursky's small stature and poor performance lost the battle.

DE/DT Ike Igbinosun
Analysis: The Bills remove their swing defensive lineman off the roster in one of the mandatory nine cuts they need to make on Saturday. Igbinosun filled in at both defensive end and defensive tackle throughout training camp and held his own. His release means the Bills are only keeping four defensive tackles from their training camp roster on the regular season set of 53.

S Kenny Ladler
Analysis: Armed with many accolades from his days at Vanderbilt, an early injury at training camp took a lot of momentum away from Ladler in his attempt to make the 53-man roster. It was going to be a hard position to crack as it was. The two main backups (Duke Williams & Jonathan Meeks) were both draft picks by this regime in 2013.

S Deon Broomfield
Analysis: Along with Ladler, Broomfield couldn't seem to crack into the top four safeties on the roster despite making some solid plays throughout offseason workouts and during training camp. The undrafted free agent rookie showed an eye for the ball at times, but it wasn't enough to unseat either Duke Williams or Meeks.

LB Jimmy Gaines
Analysis: The team's other native of Buffalo, Jimmy Gaines made a valiant effort to stick to the roster. The Canisius High School graduate and undrafted free agent made positive plays in coverage during camp, but faced stiff competition at linebacker from the start. The Bills are very intrigued by the trio of Preston Brown, Ty Powell and Randell Johnson, which made Gaines' quest for a roster spot a tough one as that trio progressed through the preseason.

WR Caleb Holley
Analysis: Holley followed up a successful tryout at rookie minicamp by impressing the coaching staff of the Bills throughout training camp. The undrafted rookie wideout made tough catches in some difficult areas -- especially in the red zone -- to catch the eye of many. Holley will likely be in consideration for the practice squad if he clears waivers.

DE Bryan Johnson
Analysis: He'll be best remembered for the training camp fight with center Eric Wood and tight end Scott Chandler, but Bryan Johnson had a solid training camp as an undrafted free agent rookie. There were times where he made some of the previously cut offensive linemen look a bit foolish, but he also had reps that resulted in him getting engulfed by the blocker. Johnson had some good speed off the edge, but it wasn't enough to get past Jacquies Smith and get a spot on the active roster.

OL Antonie McClain
Analysis: The Bills gave McClain a few opportunities throughout training camp to prove that he belonged on the Bills active roster but failed to deliver on all of them. The team tried McClain at both tackle and guard to see if he could provide the versatility, only to find that he was suited much better as an interior offensive lineman. McClain loses out to both fifth-round pick Cyril Richardson and Kraig Urbik as the top interior reserves.

The Bills announced the release of 10 players and the placement of three players on to Injured Reserve. The roster is currently at 62, and subtracting one spot for Bradham, they'll need to cut eight more players by Saturday afternoon.

P Brian Moorman
Analysis: It's the end of an era once again for the longtime Bills punter. First arriving to the team in 2001, Moorman had only a brief hiatus following his first release from the franchise before returning last season as the team's top punter. It wasn't a stretch to see that Moorman struggling during the preseason games, which was the ultimate reason for his reason from the team. The Bills will either see if Jordan Gay can handle both punting and kickoff duties, or look elsewhere to fill that role. Either way, this might be Moorman's last stand in Buffalo.

QB Jordan Palmer
Analysis: It wasn't an especially great debut and audition for Jordan Palmer. While no one doubts his smarts and coaching-like qualities that have kept him in the league for a long time, Palmer just didn't have the desired zip on passes and tipped his hand to defenders one too many times on Thursday. This leaves the Bills with two quarterbacks on the roster. The expectation is that they would look to fill in with a third through trade or free agency.

DT Landon Cohen
Analysis: The first surprise cut of the day belongs to the Bills letting training camp standout and defensive tackle Landon Cohen go. Cohen was one of the most disruptive linemen for Buffalo against the backups in practice and opponents in preseason games, often reacting quickly to the snap to get some pressure in the backfield. His release means the Bills will likely only keep four defensive tackles, but a name to keep an eye on now is defensive lineman Ike Igbinosun. He has played both end and tackle this summer, and his versatility might have earned him a spot. Stay tuned.

TE Tony Moeaki (IR)
Analysis: It's quite simple with Tony Moeaki. The Bills loved him. They thought he could be an X-factor at the tight end position if he could stay healthy. As they learned, like the Kansas City Chiefs before them, the 'if' never came to fruition. Moeaki suffered a hamstring injury early into training camp that kept him out of 80-percent of the team's preseason games in 2014. Even the one he dressed for, Moeaki barely played in the second half. It was a shot worth taking for the Bills, but they'll once again have to go with Scott Chandler and Lee Smith as their primary tight ends.

FB Evan Rodriguez
Analysis: It was an open competition between Rodriguez and Frank Summers to be the team's one and only fullback on the roster. They had two differing styles: Rodriguez was the pass catcher and Summers was the more established blocker out of the backfield. Due to the profile of their quarterback and what the Bills are shaping their offense to be in 2014, Buffalo opted for the player that fit the running mold the best.

WR Naaman Roosevelt
- It was a nice story for Roosevelt to return to the Bills for training camp, but the odds were stacked against him upon his arrival. With already at least seven receivers ahead of him, Roosevelt never was able to stand out from the crowd. The St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute and University at Buffalo graduate will be on the lookout for another job in the league once again.

TE Dominique Jones
Analysis: Jones was a late addition to the roster, but got a lot of playing time through training camp due to all the injuries early on. Scott Chandler, Lee Smith, Tony Moeaki and Chris Gragg all missed some time, while Jones soaked up the snaps. It wasn't enough for him, unfortunately. He's a shorter, stocky player that can move a lot better than he looks. He just failed to provide the Bills with something they didn't already have at the position.

LB Xavius Boyd
Analysis: Boyd was added late into camp and had a lot of young linebacker types ahead of him on the depth chart. With Preston Brown, Ty Powell, Randell Johnson and Jimmy Gaines all making plays throughout camp, Boyd was the lowest man on the totem pole once the first cuts were announced.

CB Kamaal McIlwain
Analysis: The Bills got their first look at McIlwain during mandatory minicamp as a tryout player. He stood out and made a few plays even without being with the team for that long, and once they found a crack on the roster they added him immediately. McIlwain played both tough and physical at the beginning of the camp, but as practices racked up he wore down.

CB Sam Miller
Analysis: Added once the Bills decided to part ways with the often beaten cornerback Michael Carter, Miller kept with receivers much more capably then his jersey's predecessor. Unfortunately for him, there wasn't much room for upward mobility on the cornerback depth chart: it was all pretty much decided once Ron Brooks started having a solid training camp.

OL Jared Wheeler
Analysis: A late addition, Wheeler didn't get many reps even during practice as the odd man out along the third-team offensive line. Once a few transactions and injuries occurred, Wheeler got in and held his own. The swing center/guard didn't have the preferred experience to be the team's interior backup and failed to unseat either Kraig Urbik or Doug Legursky.

CB Mario Butler (IR)
Analysis: After getting some solid time on the field during training camp while Stephon Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin each returned slowly from their offseason surgeries, Butler suffered an injury (ankle) of his own. His chances were slim to start, but the injury took away any ambiguity from the Bills' impending decision at cornerback.

CB Bobby Felder (IR)
Analysis: Felder was another late addition for the Bills during training camp and didn't stand out nearly as much as McIlwain or Butler. An injury to his groin sealed his fate and landed him on the injured reserve.

The list will be updated as more moves have been reported or announced.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

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People : Chris GraggDominique JonesEvan E-RodEvan RodriguezFrank SummersLee SmithRod RodriguezScott ChandlerTony Moeaki

08/29/2014 3:40PM
Tracking the Bills' march to 53
Please enter your comments below.
08/29/2014 3:51PM
They could cut to 33 and it wouldnt matter
With these QBs and GM/head coach combo you can cut even further because the win'loss results won't change. Top three pick - for Cleveland that is.
08/29/2014 4:14PM
Jones, Rodriguez and Palmer Have to be Ex-tactic
.... no longer do they need to tell their friends and family that they play for the Bills or have to live in Buffalo anymore.
08/29/2014 4:38PM
Can't Believe It.....
Can't believe they cut Cohen.....placed Moecki on an injury list. Go figure....
08/29/2014 4:39PM
Hey, Tyler Wilson was just cut by the Bengals. He might be better than anybody we have.
08/29/2014 4:50PM
Its kind of a mystery to me why Moorman was cut. Supposedly Marrone wants a kickoff specialist, but the guy he brought in, Gay, only had one kickoff and it just barely reached the goal line. Might as well have kept Hopkins. And is he a better punter than Moorman? Who knows? There wasnt any open training camp competition there. Gay was here for only one preseason game, and I believe he only had one punt last night, which wasnt very good. The moves this coach makes are mind boggling. And why was Cohen cut? He was playing good DL. I'd take the Bears and give the points Sunday.
08/29/2014 4:52PM
I was impressed by very little this summer but Cohen was one of them. Another idiot move, looking forward to new owner & hopefully competent talent evaluators.
08/29/2014 5:04PM
Wake me when they waive EJ Manuel and sign a real quarterback.
08/29/2014 5:42PM
Landon Cohen?!
Cutting Cohen was a ridiculous move. Dude was a beast throughout the preseason.
08/29/2014 6:09PM
All but 2
Agree with the cuts excepet Moorman AND Cohen. Cohen is the ultimate example of Bills stupidity. The guy goes all out in camp and shows he can do the job and how does he get rewarded? A cut! A guy like hime they need to find room for period
08/29/2014 6:54PM
the stampede to 6-10
I guess you have to under achieve to make the team, way to cut Cohen the one bright spot this preseason.
08/29/2014 7:17PM
Is it Tebow Time
Just kneel.
08/29/2014 7:22PM
Moorman and Cohen????!!!!!!
I thought Cohen was one of the biggest standouts in every preseason game. Unbelievable that he gets cut. Then they cut Moorman with no legit punter to replace him?!?!? This team is a joke.
08/29/2014 7:25PM
When looking for a quarterback
08/29/2014 7:28PM
There own eyes
They had to see Palmer with there own most teams would not have needed to waste the time. That is except the Dougies. They really are lost ...
08/29/2014 7:29PM
When does WGR do their cuts?
Jeremy, Schopp, and Paulrus are on my list.
08/29/2014 7:35PM
08/29/2014 7:46PM
Cutting Cohen is completely absurd
What in the world is going on at One Bills Drive? That kid worked hard all camp and was a consistently effective player and they cut him. I seriously hope that he gets picked up immediately by the Pats and goes on to stuff it down the Bills' throatsfor many years. Ugh. Marrone and Whaley are out of their minds.
08/29/2014 7:46PM
In my opinion
So we released Branch which I was fine with knowing we had a camp standout in Cohen who showed enough upside to take his place and we end up losing both. Can't wait to see what the staff has in mind if the injury bug hits our DTs and/or Dareus get suspended in the near future. We're one of the few organizations who can ill afford to make such mistakes. I just don't understand their mindset regarding this cut along with ignoring the fact that we didn't bring in a veteran backup QB during the offseason. Here's to hoping our defense can put is in great scoring position week in and out considering how poor our offense has been. Get it together Bills. Us fans deserve more and you should want more for yourselves. Someone speak up in the organization and steer this wagon in the right direction otherwise we'll be left going in circles and us fans are already dizzy.
08/29/2014 8:04PM
Is any of this really surprising?
This is the team that is hanging the franchise's hopes on a 4th round QB, hoping against hope that EJ will finally figure things out. Yeah, yeah, I know. EJ was a 1st round draft choice--but only because Buddy Nix thought that. The rest of the league surely didn't. And now Marrone and Whaley are treating EJ like a blue chip 1st rounder when any other 4th round QB would have been sent packing or to backup land by now after performances like EJ's. I like EJ, but his future is as a backup. Time for the Bills to get a starter from somewhere else.
08/29/2014 8:11PM
Tuel Time!
IF you bother to look, Jeff Tuel, even though he has played very little, When he played, an when he had a decent O line in front of him was a good QB! in his 1st and only game last season, before his interception, he was Beating KC! He needs seasoning, like a young Elway, and Favre, they both Sucked when they started, they needed to put a team around them. Give the kid a chance, EJ won't last!
08/29/2014 8:12PM
Cut Hackett!!!!
Then we'll be heading in the right direction.
08/29/2014 8:30PM
Wow, they cut Moorman and now we do not have a punter with a week before the reg season. Then they cut the beast Cohen. Oh, I forgot they also cut Palmer. Why did they bring him in in the first place - he hasn't thrown an NFL pass since 2010. I have lost all respect for Marrone - He is just another deer in the headlights. Over his head. Take Hackett and go back to college ball. You are both pathetic.
08/29/2014 8:40PM
Are You Kidding Me??
Landon Cohen???????????????? Man who the hell is evaluating these moves? Pitiful, The man played his guts out. Hope he hooks up in the AFC East and tears em up. Idiots!!!!!
08/29/2014 9:06PM
08/29/2014 9:08PM
Brian, Jake Dombrowski was the "competition" for Moorman. He had a better punting average and seemed to have better hang time but he was cut last week.
08/29/2014 9:17PM
Cut EJ
Why keep a quarterback who was inaccurate in college and slightly above average? And expect him to be better in the NFL. If he wasn't a 1st round pick, he would be our backup quarterback. Quit trying to protect him. He needs to produce in all 4 quarters. Based on what I have seen, EJ needs 3 quarters to get his accuracy tuned in. He is going to get one of his receivers seriously injured. I'm done drinking the EJ KoolAid.
08/29/2014 9:46PM
I don't ne'er stand the thinking in releasing Landen Cohen. They couldn't have found a spot for him? Seemed like one of the hardest working players on the field. I understand the Brain Moorman cut. He just wasn't performing up to par anymore. Great guy though. Wish he could have left Buffalo on his own terms, but we can't afford to let him do that (with the way he was punting). Good luck Moorman in whatever you do next!
08/29/2014 10:45PM
fire Whaley
Fire Whaley
08/29/2014 11:22PM
Bills Sign Orton
What a joke we are !! ...No wonders we aren't talked about on ESPN or The NFL NETWORK....with desperation moves like the signing of Kyle Orton , its a wonder they mention us at all. Hey Bon Jovi :buy the Bills and move them to Toronto ! PLEASE !!!!!!!
08/30/2014 1:04AM
Can't believe
Bills = Depression
08/30/2014 1:51AM
did they not cut TJ Graham? he stinks
08/30/2014 1:55AM
Marine and the off coordinator
08/30/2014 1:56AM
The coach
08/30/2014 7:37AM
Why Not.....
Sign Tebow? I know, I know....but lets take a look at what we have, which is nothing. EJ is not a starter, Tuel is still learning, Orton isn't the answer. And oh by the way, we have no 1st round pick next year, so no help in the near future. What dowe have to loose? absolutley nothing, it's Tebow time!!! (I shutter even typing that)
08/30/2014 7:41AM
another season
Thank God for Outlet Liquor and all of their deals. Like a Wiseman once said, my advice to Bills fans is to drink heavily.
08/30/2014 8:03AM
When did play against any 1st team defense's???
08/30/2014 9:35AM
Status quo for a couple years and then clean house and set sights on last place. Who's ready for a 20 year drought.
08/30/2014 10:14AM
its a mystery
what are these idiots doing, ej stinks, cant put lipstick on a pig
08/30/2014 11:01AM
EJ Manuel
Does anybody here actually learn any football history? Jim Kelly first 2 seasons record: 10-18 (with some injury miss, and 3 seasons in the USFL). Joe Ferguson had the best: 17-11 as undisputed starter (1974/75). And that was after winning the job from Dennis Shaw in 1973. So, everyone just has to be realistic: The NFL QB position is hard. On this post, I've heard suggested: Garoppolo, who would have same issues as EJ in terms of development and has only played vs. 2nd stringers, Jeff Tuel, who isn't NFL ready (see his game performance last year - intriguing guy who has to sit), and Tyler Wilson, who can't even so much as make a roster. So, you all need a heavy dish of reality: Being an NFL QB takes time to get right, usually 2-3 seasons. Is EJ the answer? We'll have more knowledge at the end of the season. However, if you cut the HC, OC and QB every year, you'll lose every season. You have to put an offense in place, make adjustments, add talent and get the OL to gel. Moving Pears to RG will change some dynamics. CJ SPiller won't get -3 yards a game, and Watkins isn't going to have only 8 plays every game. Preseason Offenses are usually vanilla. So, everyone calm down, give EJ a chance and be fairly critical, but the suggestions here about cutting him and starting over are just uninformed.
08/30/2014 2:11PM
what a joke.
Moorman wasn't really on the top of his game from what I seen the he last 2 games, but at least he can put the ball further than 8 yards. Which is how far Jordan gay punted a ball last week for the Carolina panthers which ultimately lead to his being cut from their roster. And of course we welcome that kind of performance with open arms here in buffalo!
08/30/2014 2:17PM
Total fresh start, Could someone tell me what a real Football team looks like. Thank you Ralph Wilson Organization for 15 years of pain and suffering.
08/30/2014 2:24PM
You let a good playmaker go landon cohen was the man you people are nuts
08/30/2014 4:15PM
Learn something about football before you talk
It starts with the O line, Tom Brady would look bad with the Bills line in front of him !
08/30/2014 5:01PM
All of the above
All you idiots should start learning the game of football. None of you have a clue. Your watching pre-season games when your so called great players are going up against second and third string defenses
08/30/2014 5:03PM
I see stupid people
They cut Cohen that's a joke. He was the best player out there. Then they cut our punter with no backup for that spot. We have a starting QB that just plan and simple sucks. We will have a new starter by week 4. Then we don't have a #1 for nextyr draft. By the way it looks we will be given Cleveland a top 5 pick. Maybe the Bills brain trust can get a QB that can actually throw to a receiver without hanging him out to dry.
08/30/2014 8:36PM
You guys are really freaking out about Landen Cohen? You want to fire Whaley over him? Orton is a great signing. Whatever happens with EJ; this guy is a bridge. Chill ladies.
08/30/2014 8:43PM
4 and 12
and no 1st round pick
08/30/2014 9:33PM
All of u talking about Ej really don't know the game of football..He is far more capable of putting points on the board and is not terrible by any stretch..is he Jim kelly?hell naw but the kid is better than tuel by a landslide.He hasn't been under center enough to throw in the towel and he truly does have all the potential to be the guy it's just that some of our fan base is too stuck in the past to move on and he certainly has more potential than jp.losman and trent Edwards lol.as far as it goes with the Cohen situation I'm not surprised because the two back ups we have at dt in bryant and Charles actually have more upside than the 28 year old landon Cohen.i say get behind this team or go cheer for some other squad.get rid of Ej Manuel lol.what kind of fans are you guys and wannabe gms?What a joke
08/30/2014 11:36PM
someone please !!!!!
someone plesse tell Marrone that he is coaching THE BILLS not the SABRES !!!!! we don't wanna tank the season this year- NO NUMBER ONE DRAFT PICK!!!!
08/31/2014 12:04AM
EJ needs bench tme
The best thing for Manuel would be to put a cap on and grab the clipboard. This QB thinks he is playing well because the coaches tell him that.Do you think if he played for New England Bill would tell him that. He would be in his face and ear and all over him . Trouble is the Bills are in the QB Twilight Zone and Marrone,Hackett, and Whaley are clueless on how to build this offense and get production.
08/31/2014 9:28AM
Maybe there really is a secret group operating behind the scenes calling the shots and insuring that the Bills ineptitude continues for eternity....nothing else explains recent front office and/or coaching moves. Maybe if the team moves, that group wouldlighten up and give them a chance.
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