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NFL cuts tracker: Who could Bills consider signing after final cutdowns?

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Doug Whaley and Co. will likely be interested in a few players released during the final wave of cuts.

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More than 700 NFL players have been cut over the last two days, and there’s a good chance the Buffalo Bills will be active in adding some released players to their roster.

Here’s who we think they could (or should) consider:

Ryan Davis, OLB, Jaguars

Mike Kaye of First Coast News was first to report Davis being cut by the Jaguars.

Why the Bills could be interested

Buffalo is clearly thin at outside linebacker right now, especially after the surprising release of veteran Manny Lawson.

For some reason, Jacksonville used Davis sparingly during his time with the team despite immense production while he was on the field. A year ago, Pro Football Focus named Davis the Jaguars’ Secret Superstar largely because of his pass-rushing prowess.

This is what PFF wrote about his 2014 campaign, after he flashed in 2013: ‘‘His snap count almost tripled to 310, and while his 2013 production came from the outside, in 2014 the Jaguars moved him around to great effect. He had five sacks and 11 total pressures as an edge rusher, and was almost as disruptive as an interior rusher, with three sacks and 15 total pressures. That ability to line up across the line in passing situations is a huge boon for a creative defensive coordinator.’’ In 2015, Davis cooled off after a hot September, but the 6’2’’, 261-pound former UDFA should be on Buffalo’s radar.

Beau Sandland, TE, Panthers

Sandland was a part of Carolina’s final cuts, and the list was tweeted out in an official team release.

Why the Bills could be interested

The Panthers selected Sandland in the seventh-round of the 2016 draft after an All-American season at Montana. He’s 6’4”, 253 pounds and had a quick 7.10 three-cone time at the combine, which was the fourth-fastest among tight ends in attendance who weighed in at over 250 pounds. In his last year in college, Sandland had 37 catches for 632 yards (17.1 per) with nine touchdowns and was a solid run-blocker. The Bills definitely could be looking to upgrade its group of tight-end reinforcements behind Charles Clay.

Marcus Rush, OLB, 49ers

Rush being cut was announced by the 49ers as part of the team’s official press release.

Why the Bills could be interested

Rush, who was a UDFA in 2015, had a prolific collegiate career, recording 18.5 sacks and 37.5 tackles for loss in four years at Michigan State. In this preseason, he recorded six sacks. Here’s what draftnik and analytics enthusiast Justis Mosqueda wrote about Rush, when the former Spartan was a prospect: “After Zach Libby of The State News, Michigan State's school paper, reported that Rush had run a 4.68 40-yard dash time and posted up a 34" vertical, though, I was intrigued. Because of the effort, Zach Whitman of 3 Sigma Athlete compared him athletically to Jerry Hughes, who was a first-round selection and recently signed a five-year deal with the Buffalo Bills.” Upon releasing Rush, Chip Kelly said “It was very difficult cutting Marcus Rush. It came down to a numbers game.” As a springy athlete who’d certainly be a special-teams candidate, Rush could be in consideration for Buffalo.

Devon Cajuste, WR, 49ers

Eric Branch of San Francisco Chronicle reported the news of Cajuste being release.

Why the Bills could be interested

Full disclosure here, this is more about a #DraftCrush for Cajuste than anything else. He’s 6’4”, 230 pounds, clocked an absolutely ridiculous 6.49 time in the three-cone drill at the 2016 combine, and has 10 3/4” hands. Buffalo could certainly his size at receiver. Cajuste was reliable on jump balls at Stanford and averaged 17.7 yards per catch in his career as a low-volume wideout - tight end hybrid. In college, he wasn’t a dominant blocker but was far a liability in that area playing in the Cardinal’s power-running offense.

Cecil Shorts, WR, Texans

Rand Getlin of NFL Network tweeted the news of Houston moving on from Shorts.

Why the Bills could be interested

Buffalo seems decently set at wide receiver right now, but Short is an experienced veteran who’s 6’0” and around 200 pounds. He’s coming off a pedestrian 42-catch, 482-yard, two-touchdown 2015. This isn’t a player the Bills should be calling immediately. However if they want more depth at wideout, Shorts would be an adequate option.

Jahri Evans, G, Seahawks

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported Evans’s impending release.

Why the Bills could be interested

Of all the weak spots that showed through in the last two preseason games, offensive line depth certainly was among the weakest. Taking into account Evans’s past success (6 consecutive Pro Bowls from 2009-2014; six consecutive All-Pro Seasons from 2008-2013) and weighing it against his age (33) and decline over the last two years, Evans is still a more appealing option than Ryan Groy. Even with a down year last season, PFF graded him at a 73.2, which means that they found him to be twice as effective as Buffalo’s starting right guard, John Miller. It should be noted, though, that Evans could not stick with PFF’s worst-rated offensive line from 2016, but his track record alone makes him deserving of a look.

Henry Melton, DL, Broncos

Mike Klis of 9News (Denver) reported the Broncos’ release of Melton.

Why the Bills could be interested

Melton is a former 4th round pick of the Chicago Bears. He has amassed 22.5 sacks in his six-year career, with his best season resulting in a Pro Bowl berth in 2012. A torn ACL ended his 2013, and he bounced from Chicago to Dallas in 2014, Tampa in 2015, and Denver in 2016. At 6’3” and 290 lbs., he is a fantastic athlete (he began his college career at Texas as a running back, carrying 132 times for 625 yards and 16 touchdowns prior to switching positions) with great speed (4.64 40-time pre-injury) and a stout build. Although not quite as long as Malliciah Goodman, his burst, strength, and versatility profile well as a rotational DT in passing situations, or as an under-end in run situations, as well.

Malliciah Goodman, DE, Falcons

News of Goodman’s release was first tweeted by Rand Getlin of NFL Network.

Why the Bills could be interested

At nearly 6’3” and 275 pounds with 36 3/8” arms (!!!), Goodman screams 3-4 defensive end. In February, The Falcoholic profiled Goodman heading into the 2016 season. The article details his strong presence as an edge-setter and his inability to develop pass-rushing moves. An injury cut his 2015 campaign to just four games, and he has not recorded a sack in his NFL career. In college, he had 23 sacks in four seasons at Clemson. However, the former fourth-round pick is only 26 and has the size, power and length that Rex Ryan might love to add to his defensive front.

Wendall Williams, WR, Texans

This news of his release came from Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Why the Bills could be interested

Williams, the Syracuse native, won’t be a super-hot commodity on the cut market, but the Bills have shown they love speed at WR at he’s the guy who ran a hand-timed 4.19 in the 40-yard dash during a workout. With Kolby Listenbee on the NFI list and Marquise Goodwin nursing a concussion, Buffalo being at least interested in Williams is not out of realm of possibility.

Jeremiah Poutasi, OG, Titans

Adam Caplan of ESPN reported the news of Poutasi being released:

Why the Bills could be interested

Tennessee picked Poutasi in the third round just a year ago, and while the consensus of that selection was that the Titans reached for the former Utah standout, at 6’5” and in the 340-pound range, he’s enormous and could be plugged into an insurance spot at either offensive tackle or guard. Clearly, he did not make a good impression on the new front office in Nashville, but he’s a former early-round pick with gargantuan size. Poutasi turned just 22 years old on August 7.

Josh Sitton, G, Packers

UPDATE: Signed with Bears

ESPN’s Rob Demovsky has the Packers releasing Sitton today if they can’t trade him.

Why the Bills could be interested

Sitton, 30, has made three Pro Bowls and is a three-time second-team All Pro. He is probably the most talented player who will be released today (assuming the Packers can’t trade him, which is a possibility). If you’re wondering what the catalyst for the move is, he has a cap figure near $7 million.

That said, he’s a very talented guard, and the Bills are quite short on those. He’s still more than capable of starting, so he’d probably only be interested in coming to Buffalo if Greg Roman is willing to move John Miller to a backup spot to make room for him. After Thursday’s debacle against Detroit, strengthening the second-tier line with Miller probably wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, especially for someone like Sitton.

Justin Hunter, WR, Titans

UPDATE: Signed with Dolphins

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network made the news known of Hunter being released.

Why the Bills could be interested

The former Tennessee standout was brought in by the Bills for a pre-draft visit in 2013, and has great height at 6’4”. Hunter’s career has been marred by significant inconsistencies, yet it’s hard to doubt his raw talent, and he’s only 25 years old.

Tyrone Holmes, OLB, Jaguars

UPDATE: Signed with Browns

First Coast News’ Mike Kaye first had the news of Holmes being cut.

Why the Bills could be interested

In the preseason, the sixth-round rookie demonstrated the knack for pressuring the quarterback that was integral to him winning the FCS Defensive Player of the Year award last season while at Montana. He led the nation with 18 sacks in 2015.

In two of Jacksonville’s exhibition outings, Holmes received a top 5 defensive grade on the team from PFF and tipped a pass while dropping into coverage on a zone blitz. Rex could be a fan of both of those things.

At a shade over 6’2” and a solid 253 pounds with 7.00 three-come agility along with a noticeably explosive burst off the snap, Holmes could be of interest to the OLB-needy Bills.

Arthur Brown, ILB, Ravens

UPDATE: Signed with Jaguars

Brown’s name was on the cut list the Ravens released on Twitter.

Why the Bills could be interested

At this point, Brown looks like a classic early-round whiff. Lauded by #DraftTwitter as a future perennial All-Pro, the former Kansas State standout barely played with the Ravens after being a second-round selection in 2013. NFL.com compared him to NaVorro Bowman as a prospect. He’s never started a game in the NFL. In his two years with the Wildcats, Brown was all over the field, amassing 201 tackles, 17 TFLs, three sacks and three interceptions. He was basically an enigma in Baltimore, as he never could break into the lineup with Daryl Smith, Josh Bynes, Dannell Ellerbe and ultimately C.J. Mosley in front of him. By no means should it be expected that Brown is a future Pro Bowler, but he does seem like the type of talented player who could greatly benefit from a change of scenery, and the Bills likely wouldn’t mind bolstering their depth at inside linebacker.