Monday, February 11, 2013

Bills cut ties with safety Wilson, linebacker Barnett


While linebacker Nick Barnett and safety George Wilson led the Buffalo Bills in tackles last season, their age, price and visible decline in productivity made them expendable.

Monday, the Bills parted ways with the pair of veteran defenders. (photo: Matt Britt, Flickr)

Barnett broke the news of his release via Twitter, and The Buffalo News reported Wilson's shortly after.

"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," Bills general manager Buddy Nix said in a statement, via The Buffalo News.

"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."

In 2011, Barnett recorded four sacks and was much better in pass coverage than he was last year. Wilson grabbed four interceptions in 2011 and was stout against the run. The defensive captain fell off a little in 2012, though his move was more about age than production.

With Wilson's release, there's pretty much no way the Bills let safety Jairus Byrd, who is arguably the team's best defender, get away in free agency. The moves also free up some cash to potentially help secure a spot for impending free agent offensive lineman Andy Levitre.

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