I was recently searching through some of the posts we wrote here at Buffalo Rumblings a year ago, as Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey were paring down their roster for the first time with the Buffalo Bills. While conducting said search, I came across this article - written just six days prior to the 2010 season opener, and after the team had finalized its opening day roster - in which we discussed the 15 new players on the team, and how Nix and Gailey had already changed 28 percent of the roster.
My goodness, how things have changed in a year.
With final cuts looming on Saturday, the Bills currently employ just 25 players that were with the team in some capacity in 2009, Jauron's final year in Buffalo. What's more, six of those players have already received contract extensions from the Nix and Gailey regime: Corey McIntyre, Kyle Williams, Chris Kelsay, Drayton Florence, George Wilson and Bryan Scott.
That leaves 19 players - out of 80, mind you; that's less than a quarter of the roster - that were not expressly hand-picked by Nix and Gailey to be members of this team. See those names after the jump.
Bills Players Inherited From Dick Jauron *
* excludes six inherited players that have already signed new contracts
- QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
- RB Fred Jackson
- WR Stevie Johnson
- WR Roscoe Parrish
- WR Felton Huggins
- TE Shawn Nelson
- OT Demetrius Bell
- OT Jason Watkins
- OG Andy Levitre
- C Eric Wood
- C Geoff Hangartner
- DT Spencer Johnson
- CB Terrence McGee
- CB Leodis McKelvin
- CB Reggie Corner
- FS Jairus Byrd
- K Rian Lindell
- P Brian Moorman
- LS Garrison Sanborn
Considering the fact that we're talking about two drafts and two free agent signing periods, the fact that 61 of 80 players on this roster are already hand-picked by Nix and Gailey is quite phenomenal. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't overturn a roster quickly in this league.
There are a lot of very important players on this list of Jauron-era holdovers, including 11 that could very well end up being starters. This is why you'll still hear Bills fans and media members talking about Nix and Gailey still being in the early stages of their re-build - and to an extent, that's true.
Several of these players could be hand-picked by Nix and Gailey to continue their careers in Buffalo, as well. Reports already exist claiming that Stevie Johnson and Parrish have been (or will be) approached about new deals. The team has discussed the possibility of extending Fitzpatrick, too. Several more players, with good years, could join those ranks.
On the flip side, many of these names are also prime candidates to be released this weekend - which would only strengthen the number of hand-picked players on Nix and Gailey's second-year roster. This is a breakdown that's going to be very interesting to chart through the weekend; expect an update to this post early next week.