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List of potential 2018 Buffalo Bills veteran cuts, trades

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The list of realistic veteran cuts is short thanks to frantic roster turnover.

We’ve been running a series of articles, exploring the possibilities of releasing several veterans on the Buffalo Bills. In this series we’ve analyzed play in 2017, discussed the financial ramifications of releasing or trading the player, looked at in-house as well as external options in free agency and the draft for replacement. Now that we’ve completed the look at individuals, we can recap the group as a whole and place into tiers.

Tier 1 - Pretty Safe

RB LeSean McCoy
OG Richie Incognito

First of all, no one is safe under head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane. They’ve traded young up-and-comers in receiver Sammy Watkins and cornerback Ronald Darby (on the same day, no less) as well as veterans like Marcell Dareus. They kept running back Mike Tolbert over Mike Gillislee and Jonathan Williams. Calling anyone “safe” in the process seems counter-intuitive but these guys seems to be the surest bets.

McCoy is the lifeblood of the offense and has shown no signs of slowing down, as our video analysis showed. After almost 2500 votes, 94% of respondents want him back in 2018. Buffalo would save $3.7 million on their cap but at what on-field cost? Not one worth it to us.

Also over 90% in voting to keep was the guard Incognito with 93%. With center Eric Wood retiring, Buffalo’s interior offensive line is already changing. Incognito showed no signs of slowing in 2017 despite getting a little older. His cap savings would be huge and he’s had some run-ins with the league and other players, which makes it tempting to look for a cheaper alternative, but he’s been so solid.

Tier 2 - Probably Safe

TE Charles Clay
DE Jerry Hughes

Clay just missed the cutoff for the top tier at 89% of the fan vote wanting to keep him. It should be higher. The Bills don’t really save any money on the salary cap by releasing him and even though Nick O’Leary is a capable replacement, who would replace O’Leary in his number 2 role?

After a down season, also coming in at 89% is Jerry Hughes. Buffalo could save $4.6 million by releasing him but like Clay, they would need to spend capital to replace him. It seems a big majority of fans would be content keeping Hughes while filling holes elsewhere.

Tier 3 - On The Bubble

LB Lorenzo Alexander

Alexander received 71% of the votes to stick around. With $2.85 million in salary cap savings, solid contributors to be had in free agency, and possible mid-round picks able to fill the role cheaper, it’s not necessarily a surprise. Replacing his leadership in the same year as losing Eric Wood and possibly Kyle Williams might be a different story.

Tier 4 - Tenuous Spot

OT Cordy Glenn
QB Tyrod Taylor

It may surprise you how many people want Glenn gone. Only 56% of respondents voted to keep the left tackle after he’s played in only 16 games over the last two seasons. It helps that fans think the team has a viable replacement in Dion Dawkins but really, most fans view Glenn as a trading chip. Buffalo didn’t move him at the deadline but could do so before the draft to clear millions of dollars off their salary cap.

The Bills coaches tried to replace Tyrod Taylor in the middle of the team’s 2017 playoff run, so it would come as a surprise to no one if they attempted to do the same this offseason. Fans want him gone, with only 33% of voters wanting him back in any capacity. Only 6% think he can be the long-term answer. Taylor is due a $6 million roster bonus in March, meaning Buffalo will have to move on soon if they want to save that money.

Buffalo Rumblings will begin looking at Bills free agents and replacements tomorrow. Did we miss any veteran cuts you think need to be made or discussed?