So, 19 days before the beginning of the National Football League Draft, where do the Bills stand roster-wise?
As of today, Buffalo’s roster numbers 71 with seven draftees to be added, presuming no trades, en route to the league limit of 90 heading into training camp.
If you’re wondering, 13 players who spent time on the Bills’ 53-man active roster at some point last season are gone.
Wide receiver John Brown and defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson were waived for salary cap reasons and both signed with the Raiders.
Guard Brian Winters (Cardinals), tackle Ty Nsekhe (Cowboys), safety Dean Marlowe (Lions), tight end Tyler Kroft and linebacker Del’Shawn Phillips (both Jets) left as free agents.
Tight end Lee Smith was traded to Atlanta for a late-round 2022 draft choice while quarterback Matt Barkley, running back T.J. Yeldon, cornerback Josh Norman, defensive end Trent Murphy and punter Corey Bojorquez remain unsigned free agents.
Of course, Buffalo did manage to re-sign its most critical unrestricted free agents: linebacker Matt Milano, tackle Daryl Williams, guard Jon Feliciano, wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie, cornerback Levi Wallace, linebacker Andre Smith and running back/special teamer Taiwan Jones.
The Bills also brought back 13 of the 17 players who finished last season on the practice squad including running back Christian Wade, the former British rugby star who is on the team as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway and didn’t count against the 16-player practice squad limit.
Two practice squadders not re-signed were wide receiver Kenny Stills, late of the Texans, who is still a free agent, and former Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, who has since signed with the Giants.
BUFFALO was also active signing veteran free agents from other teams: quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (Bears), wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders (Saints) and Brandon Powell (Falcons), tight end Jake Hollister (Seahawks), running back Matt Breida (Dolphins), offensive tackles Bobby Hart (Bengals) and Jamil Douglas (Titans), guard Forrest Lamp (Chargers), defensive end Efe Obada (Panthers), linebackers Tyrell Adams (Texans) and Marquel Lee (Raiders) and punter Matt Haack (Dolphins).
The Bills’ current roster consists of four quarterbacks, five tight ends, six running backs, 10 wide receivers, 12 offensive linemen, four safeties, six defensive tackles (including Star Lotulelei, who opted out of last season due to Covid concerns), six cornerbacks, seven defensive ends, eight linebackers and three specialists.
AS FOR the draft, currently the Bills have seven picks, one each in rounds one through three, two in round five and one each in rounds six and seven.
Buffalo’s fourth rounder goes to the Vikings to complete the Stefon Diggs trade as Minnesota already got first, fifth and sixth round picks in last year’s draft.
The Bills other fifth-round selection comes from the Raiders in the trade of Zay Jones, the second-round wide receiver (2017) who was a bust in Buffalo.
The seventh rounder comes from the Panthers in the trade for tackle Marshall Newhouse after the Bills own selection in that round went to the Browns as part of the trade of guard Wyatt Teller, who made two All-Pro teams for Cleveland last season.
For the record, Buffalo has made a deal involving draft picks every year since 2016, so don’t be surprised if that happens between April 29 and May 1 when the NFL, for the first time, holds its 86th annual “Player Selection Meeting” at Cleveland’s First Energy Stadium and the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame.
(Chuck Pollock, a Times Herald senior sports columnist, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)