Just minutes after Nick Barnett announced on his own Twitter that he was being released by the Buffalo Bills, Tim Graham of the Buffalo News reported the newspaper has learned that the team will also cut former starting strong safety George Wilson.
Wilson started all 16 games for the Bills last year and is a seven-year veteran with the club. The converted wide receiver made 55 starts at safety for Buffalo during his tenure here and much like Barnett, was one of the most popular players on the team and the community.
“Moves like the ones we’ve made today are never easy, but we have to do what’s best for our team and keep moving forward,” said Bills GM Buddy Nix in a statement released by the team. “We’ve got some good young players on our roster who we feel are ready to take the next step and they will now have the opportunity to do so. We thank both Nick and George for everything they’ve given the Bills organization and wish them nothing but the best for the future.”
Without question his play slipped in 2012 as he failed to record an interception or a sack. That coupled with the improving play of Da’Norris Searcy made Wilson expendable. Clearly the Bills are looking to either get younger on defense or add fee agents more to the liking of new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
Wilson’s release saves the team around $2.5 million. With Jairus Byrd and Andy Levitre both slated to become free agents next month, the money saved today is likely to go a long way towards retaining both key veterans.
I’ve been told in no uncertain terms by multiple sources the Bills will franchise tag Byrd if they can’t reach agreement on a deal before March 4.