In a bit of a surprising move, the Bills have released a veteran wideout. The team announced today (via Twitter) that they’ve cut receiver Jeremy Kerley. The team will promote defensive tackle Robert Thomas from the practice squad to take the open roster spot.
ESPN’s Mike Rodak tweets that the decision was attributed to a “numbers game.” The Bills wanted one more defensive tackle to pair with the trio of Kyle Williams, Star Lotulelei, and rookie third-rounder Harrison Phillips. Despite Thomas’ promotion, Joe Buscaglia of WKBW tweets that coach Sean McDermott‘s rotation on the defensive line will remain the same for tomorrow’s matchup against the Chargers.
Still, even with the team’s need for a defensive tackle, it’s a bit surprising that Kerley was the odd man out. The 29-year-old provided the Bills with some much-needed experience at receiver, and their depth was already a bit questionable. Buscaglia believes the top three receivers for tomorrow’s game will be Kelvin Benjamin, Zay Jones, and Robert Foster, although the team could also turn to veteran Andre Holmes or rookie Ray-Ray McCloud.
After spending the 2016 campaign with the 49ers, Kerley signed with the Jets last season, returning to the organization where he had spent the first five years of his career. Kerley ended up seeing the field for eight games, hauling in 22 receptions for 217 yards and one score. He was suspended for a PED violation in November, and he was released by the organization following his reinstatement. He signed a one-year deal with the Bills back in April, and he hauled in a pair of catches for seven yards during the team’s season-opener.
Thomas, a 2014 undrafted free agent out of Arkansas, has bounced around the NFL during his four-plus seasons in the league, spending time with the Redskins, Seahawks, Patriots, Dolphins, Panthers, and Giants. He has 24 career regular season games under his belt, and he appeared in a career-high 15 games for the Giants last season. He ended up finishing the 2017 campaign with 16 tackles.
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