The Bills announced that they have parted ways with a number of players, including kicker Dan Carpenter. Cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, long snapper Garrison Sanborn, tight end Gerald Christian, and safety Phillip Thomas were also shown the door.
Buffalo’s kicker from 2013-16, Carpenter was slated to carry a $2.937MM cap number for 2017. In his first year with Buffalo, he nailed 92% of his field goal attempts. However, his numbers have been slipping in recent years. In 2015, he missed six of the recently-elongated extra points and bricked five more in 2016. Last year, Carpenter made only 76% of his field goal tries, so his release doesn’t come as a huge shock.
Collectively, these cuts will create $6.1MM in additional cap space for the Bills, inflating their total past $24MM.
Robey-Coleman served as a sporadic starter in Buffalo, breaking with the Bills’ first unit 15 times during his four seasons with the team. The 25-year-old former UDFA signed a two-year deal to stay in Buffalo in 2015, and this release could create a bit of a market for his services. He was set to make $2.1MM this season. Buffalo will save $1.65MM as a result of this release.
While profiling as a lower-tier player than Stephon Gilmore or Ronald Darby, Robey-Coleman graded out as the Bills’ best cornerback, per Pro Football Focus, in 2016. In 573 snaps, PFF slotted Buffalo’s slot man as its No. 33 overall corner. A former USC standout, Robey-Coleman intercepted two passes last season, forced a fumble and scored a defensive touchdown. As a result of this release, the Bills could well be without their Nos. 1 and 3 corners from 2016. Gilmore is expected to move on in free agency.
Sanborn spent eight seasons in Buffalo and was one of the team’s longest-tenured performers. The 31-year-old played his entire career up to this point with the Bills. Buffalo signed Reid Ferguson to a reserve/futures contract after the season, and it appears the team will go with a younger cog as its long snapper. He played in 128 straight games for the Bills dating back to the 2009 season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.