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Bills sign LB Humber, release kickoff specialist Gay

The seven-year vet spent two-plus seasons playing for Rob Ryan in New Orleans.

New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Bills made another move to add depth to the linebacker position today, signing Ramon Humber to the active roster prior to the preseason finale against the Detroit Lions. To make room for Humber, the team released kicker Jordan Gay.

Humber, 29, is a seven-year veteran who was a UDFA signing by the Colts in 2009. He was released via injury settlement in 2010, and spent the next five-plus seasons with the Saints. Humber appeared in 74 games in New Orleans, starting 16, and has played in at least 13 games in each of the last five years. For his career, Humber has 188 tackles (133 solo), 3.5 sacks, 4 pass defenses, and a forced fumble. He signed in New England as a free agent this offseason but was unable to make an impression with the Patriots and found himself released during yesterday’s cutdown.

With the Saints, Humber spent two and a half seasons playing under current Bills assistant Rob Ryan. Humber’s best work came with Ryan at the helm of the defense, especially in 2014. Humber set career-highs with six starts and 50 tackles, and appeared in 31 of 32 games in Ryan’s two full seasons in New Orleans. He recorded 41 tackles and a sack as part of the woeful 2015 defense in the Big Easy, but it was clearly time to clean house on that side of the ball for Sean Payton’s squad.

Gay was unlikely to make the 53-man roster, but Rex Ryan had said that he wanted both Gay and Dan Carpenter to kick in the preseason finale against Detroit, so the timing is a bit of a surprise. Gay, a punter by trade, was given a chance to compete for the kicker position but performed poorly in the preseason, missing his only field goal try and one of his two extra-point attempts. Considering Carpenter’s resurgence this offseason, and the new touchback rules limiting the effectiveness of a kickoff specialist, Gay didn’t have much of a chance even with a strong showing against the Lions.