Just a few short hours after cutting OG Derrick Dockery, the Buffalo Bills have released TE Robert Royal as well. Buffalo saves around $1.2 million with this move. Needless to say, this release was a far smaller surprise than the Dockery news this morning.
Royal was signed to a 4-year, $10 million deal in March of 2006. He caught 81 passes and scored seven touchdowns in his three seasons in Buffalo, but never developed into the player that the team envisioned he might become when he was added.
While Royal's release was expected, it doesn't mean that the Bills have a replacement immediately lined up. The only viable tight end threat in the free agent pool, Houston's Owen Daniels, was given the high tender by the Texans today. He'll make $2.8 million in 2009, unless he leaves Houston; if he does, the Texans will receive first- and third-round picks as compensation. With that compensation in mind, Buffalo is likely to pass on actively pursuing Daniels and wait until April's NFL Draft to address their tight end depth.
With Dockery and Royal officially off of the roster, it'll be interesting to see if any more dead weight is cut from the roster prior to the start of free agency at midnight tonight. Adam Schefter had this to offer for those of you still hoping for more cuts...
The Bills are clearing cap space and making moves, and they might not be done.