Believe it or not, roster cutdown day is nearly upon us. By Saturday at 4pm eastern time every NFL team must have their squad whittled down to the final 53. Time to bite your nails if you’re a player on the bubble of making the Bills 2020 roster.
General manager Brandon Beane has made it clear this off-season: the cap rules all. It’s the reason veteran Stephen Hauschka was cut last week in favor of rookie Tyler Bass. It’s the reason Star Loutulelei’s contract was renegotiated in February and Stefon Diggs’ contract was tweaked in early August.
As Mr. Beane likes to mumble to himself as he falls asleep every night listening to replays of Sean McDermott press conferences, “Men lie, women lie, the cap don’t.”
It’s true. I have the footage to prove it… just don’t ask how I got it.
So the big question is who’s on the chopping block this time around? Here’s a list of everything that will definitely happen come Saturday:
Due to an accounting error, Beane realizes Trent Murphy has been on the roster for two years without even knowing it. Immediately gets cut.
Trenton Allen Murphy will be a backup defensive end this year if he makes the roster. Trenton Allen Murphy would be entering the last year of a three-year, $22.5 million contract with the Bills. Put simply, the two don’t add up.
And as we learned earlier about Mr. Beane… come on say it with me now… Cap is KING.
This has to just be a simple accounting error. There’s no way Beane has any idea Murphy is on this roster. The two have probably never crossed paths in the hallways of One Bills Drive. Out of sight out of mind.
Anyway, the jig will be up soon enough, and unfortunately for Mr. Murphy, he will no longer have a job in the NFL. (Instead, he will have to pursue his other career path as @buffalornia doppelgänger.)
UDFA Reggie Gilliam makes the roster as fullback/tight end over Pat DiMarco
Word out of Bills camp is that the team has been singing praises for Gilliam. However, as Sean McDermott pointed out, it’s easy to stand out when your competition (DiMarco) has been sidelined for all of camp. Regardless, if we’re talking cap, choosing Gilliam is a no-brainer. If he looks just as competitive as DiMarco, he should get the spot.
What makes this one tough to predict is the Bills threw us a curve-ball earlier this week. Gilliam’s number was changed from 41 to 86 and is now labeled as a tight-end by the organization. Does that signal that he’s lost the job at fullback? Or maybe somehow he’s seen as a dual fullback tight-end?
Brandon Beane sighs, holds a personal press conference, and begrudgingly tells Bills Mafia that Lee Smith has made the roster
“Listen, guys, I didn’t want to… but we had to do it. He’s the blocker. He does the blocking and the penalties and is the perfect scapegoat for whenever we lose a game. It was a tough decision that had to be made.”
Running back Christian Wade makes the roster and the world explodes
I can’t take another Christian Wade cut. This has to be the year. pic.twitter.com/V60XsdW4MK— Squirrel (@HotSquirrel1144) September 4, 2020
Shoutout to @HotSquirrel1144 for echoing the thoughts of the Christian Wade stan community. I couldn’t agree more. We’re all going to feel warm and fuzzy if Wade makes the roster.
Here’s my pitch for how he does it: This is a year where media presence and activities at Bills camp have been monitored closer than ever. The public is more in the dark about this team than any other year in recent memory.
So, if you wanted to hide a darling running back from under reporters’ noses, what better time than now? Maybe Wade has been lighting it up on the practice field without any of us knowing. Maybe he’s the best-kept secret at Orchard Park.
Unlikely? Sure. Plausible? Yes.
If the Bills decide to keep four backs, I could see Wade edging out TJ Yeldon for the final spot. He’d join roster locks Devin Singletary, Zack Moss, and Taiwan Jones.
Maxwell Underhill is a contributor for BuffaloFanatics, blog writer for the in-season “Outrageous Predictions” column, and co-host of the “Bills Overdue” vidcast streaming every Saturday at 6pm ET on Facebook, YouTube, and Periscope.