2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Buffalo Bills cut 2 veterans: LB Barnett, S Wilson

By JOHN WAWROW - AP Sports Writer
    2013-02-11 15:55

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Bills new coach Doug Marrone began retooling his underperforming defense on Monday by releasing two veterans: linebacker Nick Barnett and strong safety George Wilson.

The two players were among the Bills' most experienced defenders, and finished first and second on the team in tackles last season. And yet, they were also part of a high-priced defense that finished among the NFL's worst in yards and points allowed.

``Moves like the ones we've made today are never easy, but we have to do what's best for our team and keep moving forward,'' general manager Buddy Nix said in a statement released by the team. ``We've got some good young players on our roster, who we feel are ready to take the next step up. And they will now have the opportunity to do so.''

The Bills are in transition once again after Marrone was hired last month to replace Chan Gailey, who was fired after three consecutive losing seasons. Marrone, the former Syracuse coach, has brought in an entirely new staff, including luring New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to take over the same role in Buffalo.

In a separate development, veteran defensive end Chris Kelsay is ready to return after a partially torn ligament in his neck forced him to finish last season on injured reserve. Kelsay, who missed the final five games last season, told The Associated Press on Monday that he has fully recovered from the injury after being examined by the Bills' doctors last month.

Barnett is a 10-year NFL veteran, who never missed a start in his two seasons in Buffalo after signing with the team in free agency. He led the Bills last season with 112 tackles while adding two sacks.

Barnett beat the Bills in releasing the news by announcing he was going to be cut on his Twitter account early Monday afternoon.

``Thanks to all the great fans and friends I have met in Western New York. It was truly a pleasure being apart (sic) of that organization and culture,'' Barnett wrote. ``Very unfortunate we didn't get the Bills to the playoffs but I know you guys will have many successful years ahead of you. ... Sad to leave but like they say when one door closes more open up.''

The Bills signed Barnett after losing Paul Posluszny to free agency shortly after the NFL lockout ended in July 2011. Barnett spent his first eight seasons with Green Bay. He was entering the final year of his contract in Buffalo, and due to make a $3.5 million base salary.

The Bills are already thin at linebacker, making the position a priority in free agency and the draft in the coming months.

Wilson was a respected leader and voted a five-time team captain during his eight seasons in Buffalo. He was also the team's NFL Players Association representative.

Wilson was highly regarded for his work ethic and resilience. He broke in with the Bills as a receiver in 2005 before being converted into a safety while spending the 2006 season on the team's practice squad. He made an immediate impact at his new spot in 2007, when Wilson started nine games and had two interceptions, both of which he returned for touchdowns.

Last season, Wilson finished second on the team with 98 tackles but no interceptions. Most notably, he had two potential fourth-quarter interceptions drop from his hands in losses to Tennessee and St. Louis - both decided in the final minutes.

Wilson was also entering the final year of his contract, and due to make a $2.9 million base salary.

Second-year player Da'Norris Searcy began challenging Wilson for the starting job last season.

The Bills have a big question mark at free safety, with starter Jairus Byrd eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next month.

Veteran defensive lineman Spencer Johnson, defensive end Kyle Moore and linebackers Bryan Scott, Kirk Morrison and Shawne Merriman have also completed the final years of their contracts.

Buffalo's defense is prepared to undergo yet another transformation under Pettine, the unit's third coordinator in three years. Pettine is more accustomed to running a 3-4 alignment after the Bills reverted to a 4-3 system under former coordinator Dave Wannstedt last year.

The Bills struggled in making the transition last year, and despite the free-agent addition of defensive end Mario Williams, who was signed to a six-year, $100 million contract.

Buffalo (6-10) finished 31st in the NFL against the run, and 26th in allowing an average 27 points per game.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tony RomoJul 27 10:59a

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will sit out practice Friday, July 25 as part of a preplanned day off, according to Jason Garrett. Romo is scheduled to take [ More ]

Brian TymsJul 27 10:12a

The New England Patriots signed WR Brian Tyms (Browns) Sunday, July 27. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Geno SmithJul 27 10:05a

New York Jets QB Geno Smith received 16 snaps with the first-team offense during practice Saturday, July 26, while QB Michael Vick received three snaps. Smith has received 42 [ More ]

Davin MeggettJul 27 09:02a

The Indianapolis Colts re-signed RB Davin Meggett (Redskins) Sunday, July 27. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

J.T. ThomasJul 27 01:12a

Jacksonville Jaguars TE D.J. Tialavea (quadriceps) and LB J.T. Thomas (hamstring) left practice early Saturday, July 26, because of injuries. Thomas was carted off the field after suffering his injury.

Darius JohnsonJul 27 01:02a

Free-agent WR Darius Johnson (Falcons) was arrested in May by the Atlanta Police Department for driving under the influence, expired or no driver's license on person, failure to have [ More ]

Willie YoungJul 27 12:32a

Chicago Bears DE Willie Young (quadriceps) left practice early Saturday, July 26, because of a sore quadriceps, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

Quentin GrovesJul 27 12:12a

The Houston Texans will sign free-agent LB Quentin Groves (Browns).

Lawrence SidburyJul 27 12:12a

Updating a previous report, the Houston Texans have signed free-agent LB Lawrence Sidbury (Colts). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Andre JohnsonJul 27 12:02a

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson said he will be moved around to different spots in head coach Bill O'Brien's offensive system.

Brian HoyerJul 27 12:02a

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer (knee) said he will wear a brace on his surgically repaired knee during the entire season. He said he does not believe it will affect his play much.

Cam ThomasJul 26 11:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers DEs Cam Thomas, Brian Arnfelt and Stephon Tuitt all received snaps at left defensive end with the first-team defense during practice Saturday, July 26.

Ben GardnerJul 26 11:12p

Dallas Cowboys DE Ben Gardner (shoulder) suffered a shoulder injury during practice Saturday, July 26, and is scheduled to undergo an MRI.

Mike NealJul 26 11:02p

Green Bay Packers LB Mike Neal (abdomen) and Nick Perry (foot, knee) is close to coming off the Physically Unable to Perform list and participating in practice, according to head coach Mike McCarthy.

Lawrence SidburyJul 26 10:22p

The Houston Texans are expected to sign free-agent LB Lawrence Sidbury (Colts), according to a source.

Tim FuggerJul 26 10:12p

New York Jets WR Quincy Enunwa (hip) and LB Tim Fugger (ankle) did not participate in practice Saturday, July 26.

K. ThompkinsJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins (undisclosed) was not able to finish practice Saturday, July 26, after he slid on the ground during the later portions of practice. The [ More ]

Tommy KellyJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots DT Tommy Kelly (knee) participated in some of the team's walkthrough Saturday, July 26, and has been activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Vince WilforkJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots DT Vince Wilfork (Achilles') said his surgically repaired Achilles' tendon responded well during one-on-one rush drills during practice Saturday, July 26.

Tyler GaffneyJul 26 09:02p

Carolina Panthers RB Tyler Gaffney (knee) will miss the entire 2014 season because of a torn lateral meniscus in his knee.

Jimmy StatenJul 26 08:32p

Seattle Seahawks OG Nate Isles (hand) suffered a left hand injury during practice Saturday, July 26, while DT Jimmy Staten suffered a leg injury.

Phillip TannerJul 26 07:32p

Free-agent RB William Powell (Eagles), RB Orwin Smith (Packers) and Phillip Tanner (Cowboys) worked out for the Seattle Seahawks Saturday, July 26.

Rokevious WatkinsJul 26 06:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs waived OG Rokevious Watkins (back) with the non-football injury designation.

Alex OkaforJul 26 06:32p

Arizona Cardinals OLB Alex Okafor is filling in for OLB John Abraham (personal) as the starting weakside linebacker.

Mark AsperJul 26 06:12p

The Buffalo Bills released OG Mark Asper.

Tony MoeakiJul 26 06:12p

Buffalo Bills TE Tony Moeaki (hamstring) will be out a significant amount of time with a hamstring injury. TE Chris Gragg (dehydration) is expected back by next week.

Aaron RossJul 26 06:12p

Baltimore Ravens CB Aaron Ross (Achilles') was placed on Injured Reserve with a torn Achilles'.

Dominique JonesJul 26 06:02p

The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent TE Dominique Jones (Chiefs) to an undisclosed deal.

B. RoethlisbergerJul 26 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger concentrated on strengthening his throwing arm in the offseason and said it is the strongest it has been in his career. He also worked [ More ]

Bobby RaineyJul 26 05:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James is working with the second-team offense Saturday, July 26. It's still early, and Bobby Rainey could still figure into the mix at the [ More ]

Sean McGrathJul 26 04:32p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Sean McGrath has decided to retire, according to head coach Andy Reid.

Devon StillJul 26 03:52p

Cincinnati Bengals DT Devon Still (back) has been cleared to practice. Still was listed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group