Under the guidance of the new duo of general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott, the Buffalo Bills have decided to walk away from a former highly regarded draft pick.
On Tuesday morning, the Bills released offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, the team's second-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Kouandjio made headlines in the offseason, after an alleged incident with local police in a field next to Route 400.
In three seasons with the Bills, Kouandjio appeared in only 25 out of a possible 48 games and made only seven starts over that span of time. The former second-round pick had only one year remaining on his contract.
The Bills also announced that they've signed wide receiver Rod Streater and tight end Wes Saxton. The team also released quarterback Josh Woodrum.
Joe B's Take
- Whether it was today or right before the start of the regular season, releasing Cyrus Kouandjio ahead of the season was a distinct possibility for the Buffalo Bills for many reasons. Above all else, over three years Kouandjio just never discerned himself at a position that was clearly there for the taking.
While he showed he could play a bit at left tackle when Cordy Glenn was injured for a time last season, it was not enough to overcome some of the factors working against him.
First, it's a new regime at One Bills Drive -- and one that just drafted Dion Dawkins in the second round out of Temple to play offensive tackle. And the expectation is that, at worst, Dawkins will be the main backup at offensive tackle for the Bills in 2017 -- a job Kouandjio likely would have been going for.
There was also the simple fact that when Kouandjio took snaps at right tackle, he struggled considerably more than when he was on the left side. To keep a backup offensive tackle on the roster, he needs to be able to play both positions capably.
Plus, his power blocking playing style wasn't exactly a fit for the new zone-blocking scheme, seeing as how you need to be able to move pretty well to play in the scheme -- which wasn't a strength for Kouandjio. Then you mix in the fact that the team has two interior backups -- Ryan Groy and Vladimir Ducasse -- with one being familiar with playing offensive tackle in his past (Ducasse), and it spelled out his departure from the team.
Second, there were a couple of different injury concerns with Kouandjio: most recently, his hip, and then his long-standing issue with a knee injury dating back to his time at Alabama. Some fans have even attributed the knee concern to him not being able to play right tackle well enough. Either way, the lingering injury concerns were there.
And lastly, there was the incident in the offseason that is still a bit vague at this point as to what it was ultimately related to, or why it happened, but it is likely enough to cause concern for a team.
The decision to release Kouandjio this early in the offseason will also serve as a message from new head coach Sean McDermott that no person, regardless of where they were drafted by the team, is considered to be a lock for the final roster -- a needed aspect over at One Bills Drive given the last head coach's tendencies.
Now without Kouandjio, the Bills will move on with Cordy Glenn, Dion Dawkins, Jordan Mills, the still-suspended Seantrel Henderson, and a couple of others at the offensive tackle position this spring and summer.