The Buffalo Bills have announced that veteran linebacker Keith Rivers has been released.
In doing so, the Bills will save about $1.7 million against their 2015 salary cap figure - all for parting ways with a linebacker that had disappeared from the field by the end of his only season in Buffalo.
Signed as a potential starter last offseason, Rivers did, indeed, open the 2014 season as a starter, aided in part by a season-ending knee injury to Kiko Alonso. After missing Weeks 2 and 3 due to injury, however, Rivers began to lose ground to rookie Preston Brown in the lineup, and by midseason had no role to play on either defense or special teams. In the last 10 games of the season, Rivers saw the field for just 32 snaps on defense, and 27 on special teams.
The Bills already had a surplus of talent at linebacker, with Alonso returning to health to join Brown and fourth-year pro Nigel Bradham. Pending free agent Brandon Spikes was ahead of him in the defensive pecking order, as well, and both Ty Powell and Larry Dean carried more special teams credit, as well. This, then, was a move that most fans had seen coming for months.