The Buffalo Bills are set to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars tonight in their third pre-season game of the season. In watching it, we believe that you'd be well-served to focus your attentions on the spirit of this column from WGR 550's Joe Buscaglia - keep your eyes on veterans that may get the axe due to slightly inflated salaries.
We're not expecting nearly the same veteran bloodbath that Buscaglia thinks there may be. In fact, there's only one veteran cut on Joe's 53-man roster projection that we fully see the logic of: that of center Geoff Hangartner.
The Bills signed Hangartner to a four-year, $9.6 million deal prior to the 2009 season, and Hangartner promptly made 28 straight starts at center. He's due nearly $2.6 million in base salary this season, however, and another $2.8 million next year. That is not a price that the Bills have typically paid for a backup - and Hangartner has remained entrenched as the second-team center while other players compete for starting jobs, while the team uses mid-round draft picks on developmental players, and while they hand out contract extensions to other players.
Buffalo must release seven players on August 30 (this Tuesday) to get down to 80 players, and then 27 more to get down to 53 on September 1. It's looking highly likely that Hangartner might be part of either of those cuts.