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Bills Release Six in First Roster Cutdown

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News broke this morning that the Buffalo Bills, in preparation for tomorrow's cutdown deadline to 75 players, have released six players to reach that limit. The following players are no longer donning Bills uniforms:

QB Kevin Eakin, WR Donovan Morgan, LB Roy Manning, CB Reggie Lewis, CB Chris Thompson, and K/P D.J. Fitzpatrick.

The Morgan release is very surprising as he was getting early reps with J.P. Losman as recently as Friday night's Titans game. It was clear from the get-go that his technique could use considerable buffing, but he's a tall, smooth athlete with solid hands.

Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com thinks that the early release of Morgan is a move to get him onto the practice squad (tip of the hat to, as usual, Kurupt for mentioning this in the comments):

MORGAN TO PRACTICE SQUAD?: Seeing Donovan Morgan as part of first cuts might be surprising to some, but in all likelihood this is a move to slip Morgan under the NFL radar. The players who make up final cuts are often more heavily scrutinized and reviewed by all the other NFL clubs to see if they can upgrade their own rosters with talent that almost made other NFL rosters. By cutting Morgan early you wonder if the Bills are hoping he goes largely ignored by the rest of the league so no one else deems him worth signing and he can be added to the practice squad early next week. He does have practice squad eligibility left."

Well, you ruined that secret, Brownie. In all likelihood he's right - Morgan was clearly established as the sixth receiver in the rotation, behind Sam Aiken and ahead of Jonathan Smith. This signals to me that the Bills plan to move forward with five receivers on the active roster and one on the practice squad - even if it's not Morgan. If Morgan gets picked up by another club, look for Jemalle Cornelius to get the practice squad call. Smith no longer has practice squad eligibility, and Cornelius has the most potential of the rest of this group. Scott Mayle could get a look as well.