The Buffalo Bills have released veteran punter Brian Moorman and re-signed undrafted free agent Shawn Powell to replace him. The team confirmed the move on Tuesday afternoon after the story was broken by Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, who tweeted the news. As a vested veteran, Moorman is entitled to the remainder of his contract this season, so this is not a cost-saving move - it's a decision based on performance.
Moorman, 36, was widely considered to be in danger of losing his job in training camp to undrafted rookie free agent Shawn Powell. After a very strong pre-season, however, Moorman was retained on the 53-man roster and voted a special teams captain just days later.
Now, apparently, Moorman is out of a job. Through three games this season, Moorman has punted 15 times at a respectable 45.5 yards per punt, but has also managed to drop only two of those kicks inside the 20-yard line. He was coming off of a fairly poor performance in Sunday's 24-14 win over the Cleveland Browns. The longest-tenured player on the roster, Moorman had been with the club since 2001, the first year GM Tom Donahoe was in town.
Making the decision easier: the fact that Moorman was in the final year of his contract. Tim Graham of The Buffalo News reports that the Bills will bring Powell, the Florida State product with the powerful (if inconsistent) leg, back to replace Moorman as the punter. It remains to be seen who will replace Moorman as the holder on kick attempts; both Powell and George Wilson have experience in that capacity.
Brian Moorman: franchise institution. The Moorman era has apparently reached its conclusion. What do you think, Bills fans?