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Buffalo Bills release A.J. Klein

The move saves a lot of salary cap space

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills released veteran linebacker A.J. Klein on Tuesday, freeing up much needed cap space as they close in on the start of the 2022 NFL League Year.

The move saves Buffalo $5.1 million in cap space. They began the day about $6.6 million over the cap, so there are still moves to come over the next week.

Earlier on Tuesday, we ran an article saying that the Bills could easily replace Klein’s contributions by using players already on their roster including Tyrel Dodson and Andre Smith. It’s likely they will add some more bodies during the offseason, but both of those other linebackers are on league-minimum deals.

Klein’s playing time was mostly limited to when the Bills’ main pair of linebackers were injured. Buffalo runs a base nickel defense, employing Taron Johnson in the slot on the vast majority of snaps instead of a third linebacker. Klein had 35 tackles, one interception, and one fumble recovery in 2021 playing just 29% of the team’s defensive snaps. 277 defensive plays is the lowest number since his rookie season.

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