No surprises on the cut list

If there were surprises when the Bills made their final cuts, they were with who stayed on the roster rather than who's out of a job.

And even that is only mildly surprising. The reason the team took so long to announce its final 13 cuts was that they really don't have 53 players of NFL caliber. Most likely, Buffalo is not done juggling its roster.

Don't you be surprised if the Bills pick up another team's linebacker castoff, especially a middle linebacker. They have just six 'backers on their roster, and only one real middle linebacker. They'll need more than six to have enough hard-hitting players to staff their special teams. Shout! projected that they would keep eight; expect at least one more to be in Orchard Park by mid-September.

Where would Buffalo make a cut to bring in another 'backer? From among its running backs or defensive ends, where Joe Burns and Grant Irons were the most surprising players to make the roster and therefore the most logical to come off the 53-man list.

So we say there weren't real surprises among the cuts? And you say, "What about Shawn Price?" The Bills did make the effort to enable him to pass a physical so they could sign him, but he wasn't really right physically. We've probably seen the last of Price as an NFL player. That's unfortunate, but not really surprising.

It's also no more than mildly surprising that five players Shout! did project onto the opening-day roster were cut. They were Michael Early, Bryce Fisher, Corey Hulsey, Muadianvita Kazadi and Jimmy Robinson.

This web site told you more than a week ago -- and some two weeks after our roster projections -- how Robinson was struggling on special teams.

What about Early? Didn't he start while Ruben Brown was hurt? Yes, but that was more to give him a chance to show what he could do than to endorse his ability. And, admit it, you can't think of anything good Early did with a substandard offensive line.

Richard Huntley, you say. He was a surprise. Not to Shout! He was one of six veterans of more than two NFL seasons whom we projected as a likely cut. Joining him on this round was Travares Tillman. Already gone were Erik Flowers, Leif Larsen, Jeremy McDaniel and the retired Jerry Ostroski. The only veteran who survived despite our projection that he would be cut was Sheldon Jackson, who simply outplayed Dan O'Leary.

While we're tooting our horn, two of the three undrafted players we projected as sleepers with good chances to make the team are on the 53-man roster: Irons and Andre Rone. The other, Ahmad Brooks, is likely to be on the practice squad. And Burns was the only other undrafted player to make the roster.

The final 13 cuts: Brooks, Early, Fisher, Hulsey, Huntley, Kazadi, Robinson, Tillman, Jon Carman, Jarrett Ferguson, Brady McDonnell, Shawn Price and Rodney Wright.

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