The Bills said goodbye to three players in middle of the free agent frenzy that began officially at 4pm.
Only one was a real surprise. The team released fan favorite Aaron Williams in a move that will save the team an extra $1.775 million against the cap.
Williams had not officially decided if he was going to play again in 2017 after back to back seasons cut short by serious neck injuries.
An instagram post by Williams after Tyrod Taylor seemed to indicate he would play this fall, but the Bills had other plans.
Williams’ status for 2017 was hardly guaranteed, so better to take the extra bit of cap space then spend all summer hoping something that’s happened each of the last two years doesn’t happen again. Fool me once…
It officially leaves the Bills with only one starting caliber safety (Corey Graham), but this free agent class and, especially, the draft is filled with secondary help. Finding a replacement should not be an issue.
Williams has been a good player and great ambassador for the team. It could have been an easy move at One Bills Drive. Personally, my hope is he doesn’t play again in favor of a long, healthy retirement.
Stephon Gilmore officially departed, but won’t be forgotten. Not when he’ll be playing the Bills twice a year.
The Patriots signed Gilmore to a reported 5 year contract worth 65 million dollars with 40 million guaranteed.
The Bills have strongly hinted they would only re-sign Gilmore at their price. Once Buffalo elected not to use the franchise tag on the star cornerback, his fate in Buffalo was sealed.
New England has only given Tom Brady a larger overall contract and that wasn’t even the most recent deal (60 million). The Patriots will at times hand out top dollar deals to free agents (Adalius Thomas, Vince Wilfork), but mostly spend only on their own.
Gilmore was apparently one of the exceptions.
The Bills would have likely preferred Gilmore end up out of the division (conference would have been better).
We all know the deal with 24. He’s very good, not great. He’s probably not worth 13 million per year and a boatload of PegulaBucks in Sean McDermott’s zone based D, if at all.
A decision was made and the Bills moved on. That’s how grown ups run a team. But, the fatalists in Buffalo will lament the possibility of Gilmore erasing Sammy Watkins twice a year.
The problem is that, over 17 years, the fatalists have been right too often.
Robert Woods is heading west.
He signed a reported 5 year, 39 dollar contract with the Rams with 15 million guaranteed.
Woods was a second round pick by the Bills, but his career as a receiver never took off. He grabbed 65 catches for 699 yards and five scores in 2014, but never had more than 51 catches or three TDs any other year.
Another clean separation by the Bills. Woods was clearly never in their plans.
He’s an elite blocker as a receiver, but “just another guy” as a pass catcher. If he blossoms in LA, so be it.
The Bills should be able to find an adequate replacement via any number of ways.