The Bills’ secondary pass-catching options has been an area of concern, and the depth chart at the receiver position will be something to monitor during training camp and the preseason. A key player to watch in that respect will be Trent Sherfield.
Buffalo signed the 27-year-old in March, a move which seemed to ensure he would have at least a depth role in his new home. More recently, Sherfield was named as one of the contenders for the third starting WR position on the Bills, suggesting a competition between himself, Khalil Shakir and Deonte Harty. Even if he were to be relegated to second-team duties, his roster spot would presumably be safe.
However, Ryan O’Halloran of the Buffalo News lists Sherfield as a potential cut or trade candidate. Moving on from the former UDFA would represent a repeat of last year’s handling of tight end O.J. Howard. The latter was released during roster cutdowns before having made a regular season appearance for Buffalo. Part of the Howard succession plan could be a factor in Sherfield’s roster security.
O’Halloran notes that the Bills are likely to use both veteran tight end Dawson Knox and first-round rookie Dalton Kincaid on the field together quite frequently. Kincaid – whom Buffalo traded up to select – is best-suited to operate in the slot given his pass-catching skills. That is likely to take away snaps from the likes of Shakir, Harty and Sherfield.
Harty’s special teams background makes him a candidate to be the team’s primary returner, something which should make him safe heading into training camp. Sharkir, meanwhile, can also be comfortably penciled in given his status as a second-year player the Bills drafted in the fifth round. Their ability to contribute in the slot in particular could make Sherfield expendable as the team looks to maintain its passing efficiency while relying less on Stefon Diggs at the receiver spot.
Sherfield spent his first three seasons with the Cardinals, and followed that up with one-year stints in San Francisco and Miami. It was with the Dolphins that he earned his largest workload on offense, and he translated that into career highs in receptions (30), yards (417) and touchdowns (two). That production could merit him interest as a free agent in the event the Bills move on from him, though his attention will no doubt be focused on cementing his 53-man roster spot in Buffalo in the coming weeks.