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Buffalo Bills free agency: team withholds RFA tenders from three

The Bills announced today that they will allow Bacarri Rambo, Stefan Charles, and Ty Powell to test free agency.

With free agency officially kicking off at 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the Buffalo Bills announced the fates of their remaining free agents (RFAs). Along with tight end Marqueis Gray, who self-reported his departure from the team earlier in the week, three more players did not receive restricted free agent tenders: defensive tackle Stefan Charles, safety Bacarri Rambo, and linebacker Ty Powell.

The most significant omission may be Rambo, who started eight games for the Bills in 2015 after Aaron Williams suffered a neck injury. The safety had a memorable game in 2014, intercepting two Aaron Rodgers passes to break a mistake-free streak by the quarterback in an upset victory over the Packers. Without Rambo on board, the top safety reserve is Duke Williams.

Charles spent three seasons in Buffalo as a moderately successful backup, but saw his role diminish this year as Corbin Bryant (an RFA who did receive a tender) earned more snaps. Powell played in fourteen games with Buffalo as a backup and kick coverage specialist in 2014, but he tore his ACL during training camp before the 2015 season.

The Bills also elected not to tender exclusive rights free agent (ERFA) running back Cierre Wood, who tore his ACL during the 2015 season. Unlike a restricted free agent, an ERFA carries a league-minimum contract cost. They already extended an offer to RFA Mike Gillislee, so the team might be comfortable with the existing depth without Wood.

Going untendered by the Bills doesn't preclude these players from returning to the team on a cheaper contract. It may well be that the Bills didn't feel these players are worth the $1.67 million cap hit a minimum value tender would cost (or at least, they don't think they can fit that many $1.67 million contracts under their salary cap), but they may be interested in bringing the players back for deals that cost $1 million or less. As Chris Brown of reports, the salary cap is the primary motivator here, with the team not expected to compete for the services of these players if other teams offer them contracts with any serious value.