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Breaking down the Bills 53-man roster and surprise cuts

Ferguson among surprise cuts for Bills
Posted at 7:11 PM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 19:11:01-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. [WKBW] — The Bills 53-man roster is now set. On Tuesday, the team trimmed their roster to 53 players as they begin preparations for the regular season.

The Bills released the following players:

  • G - Jack Anderson
  • TE - Nate Becker
  • DT - Brandin Bryant
  • OL - Jordan Devey
  • OL - Jamir Douglas
  • LS - Reid Ferguson
  • QB - Jake Fromm
  • WR - Tanner Gentry
  • LB - Joe Giles-Harris
  • CB - Olaijah Griffin
  • T - Bobby Hart
  • WR - Isaiah Hodgins
  • TE - Jacob Hollister
  • LB - Marquel Lee
  • CB - Cam Lewis
  • DE - Mike Love
  • CB - Nick McCloud
  • TE - Quintin Morris
  • WR - Steven Sims
  • S - Josh Thomas
  • QB - Davis Webb
  • CB - Rachad Wildgoose
  • RB - Antonio Williams

Bove's take:

I’d be shocked if long snapper Reid Ferguson isn’t back on the roster by Wednesday. According to Sal Capaccio of WGR 550, that’s the plan. The same can likely be said for at least one other player, depending on the severity of the injuries to players like Harrison Phillips, Isaiah McKenzie, and Tommy Sweeney. All three players are currently injured and could end up on Injured Reserve.

So here’s how it all works — Ferguson and tight end Jacob Hollister [among others] are considered vested veterans, which means they are waiver exempt. When the Bills move their injured player(s) to IR, they'll have available roster spots and can re-sign players. Sure, that means they could explore the free agent pool from around the league, but it more likely means they'll bring back some of the guys they cut on Tuesday [like Ferguson].

This same scenario happened last year when the Bills cut kick returner Andre Roberts and safety Dean Marlowe. Hours later, the two players were back on the roster.

Considering the Bills don't have a long-snapper on their team and they signed Ferguson to an extension earlier this summer, he'll get the first priority when it comes to a roster spot. I'd guess Hollister is another candidate to be brought back, especially with the uncertainty surrounding Sweeney's health.

As for the quarterbacks, I'd guess Webb is likely brought back on the practice squad. He is such a valuable player in the locker room and is truly an extension of the coaching staff. There's a chance they could also sign Fromm to the practice squad, but I'd think Webb is their bigger priority.

When it comes to the draft picks from 2021, I'd expect Jack Anderson and Rachad Wildgoose to land on the practice squad. The 2021 class wasn't particularly deep and with a loaded roster, long gone are the days where it's automatic for drafted players to make the 53.

The moves certainly aren't done, but the roster looks pretty set. These decisions are tough because the team is much deeper than in years past.

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