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Bills Fine Tune Roster, Prepare for Free Agency

Leonhard to hit free agency (

The Buffalo Bills on Thursday continued to tweak their roster in preparation for the opening of the free agent signing period. The team released veteran cornerback Kiwaukee Thomas, extended offers to several young free agents, and allowed two others to hit free agency.

The release of Thomas isn't entirely unexpected. After being placed on Injured Reserve last year, Thomas watched as players like Jabari Greer and even Ashton Youboty stepped into the lineup and made plays in his absence. With the team likely to add at least one corner this off-season - whether it be a re-signing of veteran Jason Webster, drafting a rookie, or both - Thomas was looking at a deep depth chart next season. His release all but ensures that the Bills will add a player at the position this off-season.

According to a report from WGR 550, the Bills also extended tender offers to CB Dustin Fox, DT Corey Mace, WR Scott Mayle and TE Tim Massaquoi. Of the team's three restricted free agents, one - DT Jason Jefferson - received a tender offer. That means that the team's other two restricted free agents, S Jim Leonhard and RB Shaud Williams, are set to become unrestricted free agents.

The decision to tender Jefferson isn't surprising, as he's familiar with the team's defense and while he's routinely unspectacular, that type of depth is difficult to find. Leonhard stands a good chance of getting re-signed by the club, as he's a favorite of the coaching staff's but wasn't worth the relatively high RFA tender. Don't be shocked if he's re-signed in the next couple of days.

With these moves out of the way, the Bills are set to begin negotiating with unrestricted free agents at the stroke of midnight tonight.