Don't be surprised at some player moves

They seemed like unrelated items. A report said the Bills had requested that Jerry Ostroski take a million-dollar pay cut.

Defensive end Chidi Ahanotu visited their training camp.

Defensive tackle Shawn Price reportedly was close to re-signing with the team.

And two rookies, Jykine Bradley and Delrico Fletcher, without a ghost of a chance of making Buffalo's roster were released.

In reality, there was a common thread running through these items.

The Bills' defensive line is in desperate trouble, and the team needed both salary-cap room and roster space to sign someone new.

Of course, while Tom Donahoe is wheeling and dealing with agents and dropping hints and trial balloons to his old pals at ESPN on one side of the fence, Gregg Williams is on the other side, pretending not to know anything about what's happening with players' contracts.

Williams also spouts a company line in public about what a promising group of young defensive linemen the team has. In private, he also has to know that that group isn't good enough to make his defense work. And the defense holds the key to his own job security.

If Ostroski agrees to a salary cut that can be more friendly toward the cap than releasing him outright, the Bills would have salary-cap room -- and roster room -- to add a couple of players.

So don't be surprised next week when Ahanotu and Price are lining up and taking playing time away from young linemen who aren't now, and might never be, ready to shine in the NFL.


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