Mario Butler

Bills Trim Roster To 53

The Bills announced that they’ve moved their roster to 53 players by cutting 21 players. That list of cuts includes notable names like fullback Jerome Felton, linebacker Manny Lawson, versatile cornerback Sterling Moore, and linebacker Randell Johnson."<strong

The Bills will save $2.35MM against the cap by releasing Lawson and $1.55MM by cutting Felton. By freeing up that cash, the Bills will have a little more room to work with as they negotiate a new deal with cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

Felton was signed as a free agent last offseason to a four-year pact worth $9.2MM, with $4MM guaranteed. Considering how the fullback position has been phased out by many NFL teams, that was a steep price to pay for the former Viking. With Minnesota, Felton acted as the lead blocker for Adrian Peterson‘s 2012 MVP campaign, paving the way for Peterson to nearly break the all-time rushing record. Felton himself went to the Pro Bowl that season, and was named second-team All Pro. The team is saving money by dropping the 30-year-old, but his release is also a sign of their confidence in Glenn Gronkowski.

Over the last three seasons, Lawson has appeared in all but one regular season game for the Bills. In 2015, Lawson appeared in every contest and started 14 games, racking up 45 tackles, 1 sack, and 5 pass deflections. Lawson is facing a one-game ban as a result of a domestic violence incident and that was thought to be a big blow in the season opener considering that the team will also be without top rookies Reggie Ragland and Shaq Lawson plus reserve linebacker IK Enemkpali. For one reason or another, the Bills have decided that they are better off without him.

Moore, 26, came over from Tampa Bay during the offseason, and has also spent time with the Patriots, Cowboys, and Raiders. Johnson, meanwhile, has been with Buffalo for the past two seasons, starting one game during that time.

Here is the complete list of cuts:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/9/16

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Bills agreed to one-year deals with running back Mike Gillislee, cornerback Mario Butler and punter Colton Schmidt, Mike Rodak of tweets. The trio will be restricted free agents after the 2016 season. A 2013 fifth-round pick, Gillislee figures to be an intriguing part of the LeSean McCoy-led Buffalo backfield after he averaged 5.7 yards per carry in five games down the stretch, doing so following two nondescript seasons with the Dolphins.

Bills Sign Greg Salas To Contract Extension

The Bills announced that they have signed wide receiver Greg Salas to a contract extension. In addition to Salas, cornerback Mario Butler, running back Mike Gillislee, and punter Colton Schmidt have all been given new deals.

A fourth-round pick in 2011, Salas has spent time with several teams, recording a total of 46 regular-season receptions for the Rams, Jets, and Bills. Salas joined the Bills in late December and apparently made enough of an impression on team brass to get a second look for 2016. In two games for the Bills, Salas drew five targets and three receptions, good for 41 total yards. Salas was a fourth-round pick of the Rams in 2011 after he enjoyed a 1,889-yard, 14-touchdown campaign in his final collegiate season. He is still looking to make an impact of a similar magnitude at the NFL level.

Bills Cut Brian Moorman, Jordan Palmer, Others

The Bills have announced the first wave of their final roster cuts, and the list of released players includes some familiar names, including punter Brian Moorman, who has been with the team for nearly his entire career since 2001 and wrote an open letter to Bills fans following his release. Via Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 (Twitter link), here’s the list of Bills moves:


Placed on injured reserve: