While the Buffalo Bills have tendered two key restricted free agents, they’ve decided to let to others walk. The team announced that defensive end IK Enempkali and punter Colton Schmidt will not be tendered and will become unrestricted free agents on March 9.
Enempkali, 25, was a controversial addition to the team when the Bills claimed him off waivers after a fight with Geno Smith led the New York Jets to cut him. He struggled in Rex Ryan’s defense during his first season in Buffalo, but looked to figure into a larger role last season before a torn ACL in the preseason ended his Bills career.
Schmidt, 26, had been the Bills primary punter for the last three seasons. After a strong 2015, Schmidt was woefully inconsistent in 2016 and ranked near the bottom of the league in average punt yardage (42.4 yards per punt, ranked 30th) and net yardage (38.1 yards per punt, ranked 29th). The move means that the Bills will be in the hunt for both a punter and a placekicker, having released Dan Carpenter yesterday. Ideally, one of them will be able to handle kickoffs and not require the team to carry a kickoff specialist as they did for a few games last year.
Buffalo did tender OL Ryan Groy (link) and RB Mike Gillislee (link).