In preparation for free agency the Bills made a few cuts this afternoon releasing kicker Dan Carpenter, safety Nickell Robey-Coleman, and long snapper Garrison Sanborn. The moves will save the Bills $5 million in cap room to bring their total to an estimated $24 million, but with a bit of a catch.
The Bills currently have the fewest players under contract in the NFL with just 45. They are one of only four teams without 51 players under contract so their effective cap space is closer to $20 million than the $24 million number. Buffalo’s cap room could grow by $13 million if they opt to not exercise quarterback Tyrod Taylor’s option year, which will be an interesting decision to watch unfold.
Carpenter had signed a four year contract with the Bills back in 2014 but struggled this past season with kicks in the 40+ category. He was scheduled to earn $2.4 million which was the most he had made since the first season of his contract, which probably made the decision easier. Robey-Coleman played in about 50% of the Bills defensive plays last season and was to see a raise of about $500,000 this year had he made the team. The Bills extended Robey-Coleman back in 2015 and he should be able to pick up with another team as a lower cost depth player. Sanborn signed his extension with Buffalo in 2014 and his years of service in the NFL probably worked against him since he could be replaced with a younger player.