Every year, as the Buffalo Bills are preparing for a new season in training camp, I'm invariably (and frequently) asked which Bills veteran I consider a front-runner to be a surprise cut. I continue to get asked despite the fact that I'm rarely correct. This year, I believe that question has an obvious answer: inside linebacker Andra Davis.
Sure, Davis is currently running with the starting defense at St. John Fisher. Ask Trent Edwards how relevant that is. Davis, signed to a two-year contract last March, is the team's oldest linebacker (he'll turn 33 in December), and also perhaps its least versatile.
Last season, the Bills kept 10 linebackers on their opening-day roster. If that happens again, Davis should be safe, as the team places a high value on his experience and vast knowledge of the 3-4 defense. If it doesn't, however, he'll need to watch his back.
Nick Barnett is the likely every-down inside 'backer, relegating Davis to a two-down role at best. Other inside 'backers are younger (Kelvin Sheppard, Chris White) or more versatile (Reggie Torbor, Arthur Moats). The team has solid developmental prospects outside in Antonio Coleman and Danny Batten, not to mention its starters.
Again, I'm almost always inaccurate making guesses like this, which probably bodes well for Davis. It would not shock me, however, to see Davis go from training camp first-teamer to roster casualty. That's the nature of the NFL. Who do you consider a front-running veteran to get cut?