BBD Staff Writer: Ryan Talbot
As the Buffalo Bills work on trimming their roster down to 75 players, the Bills’ official website announced the release of the following five players Monday: wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers, defensive back Dominique Ellis, cornerback Jumal Rolle, wide receiver DeMarco Sampson and center Ryan Turnley.
The headlining name among the cuts is Rogers. While few deny Rogers’ talent, the wide receiver went undrafted in the 2013 NFL Draft. When the Bills signed Rogers, many thought the team had found a diamond in the rough. At training camp, Rogers flashed his ability from time to time. However, head coach Doug Marrone noted last week that Rogers simply did not show consistency at camp.
“With Da’Rick you see a lot of potential out there where he can go ahead and make plays and physically beat people,” Marrone told BuffaloBills.com. ”Then other times he’s getting down a little bit or maybe feeling a little sorry for himself. Whatever it may be then you don’t see that consistency in him. Right now it’s a little bit up and down. Again we’ve just got to get it where it’s constantly going up and he should be a fine player.”
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Rogers saw his snap total go from 23 total snaps in the Bills’ preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts to only 11 snaps in Week 2 against the Vikings. Against the Washington Redskins on Saturday, Rogers didn’t receive any offensive snaps. That was a rather telling sign. Rogers’ talent should not be ignored and another team will likely take a flier on him, but he simply didn’t make the most of his opportunity in Buffalo.
Among Buffalo’s other cuts, two defensive backs were let go. Ellis was buried far down the team’s depth chart at safety. The team currently has Jairus Byrd, Aaron Williams, Da’Norris Searcy, Duke Williams and Jonathan Meeks all fighting for roster spots. Ellis’ chances of making the team was always a longshot.
Rolle’s preseason started out pretty well with an interception return for a touchdown against the Colts. However, Rolle was picked upon against the Vikings the following week and was a liability in coverage. Rolle needs further grooming, which he may receive on a team’s practice squad.
Sampson joined the Bills at the end of May and did a nice job in training camp with the team. He ran decent routes and showed good hands during his time in Buffalo. Unfortunately for Sampson, Buffalo has a lot of talent at the wide receiver position. Sampson was fighting for a roster spot with the aforementioned Rogers, Brad Smith, Marcus Easley, Chris Hogan and Brandon Kaufman. While Sampson played well, the wide receivers still on the roster were ahead of him on the depth chart.
Turnley was buried on the team’s depth chart. Eric Wood is the clear-cut starter at the position with Doug Legursky as his possible backup. Buffalo also has Colin Brown and Kraig Urbik, both of whom can shift over from guard to center if needed.