Buffalo Bills cut veterans Nick Barnett, George Wilson


The new Buffalo Bills coaching staff is in place. The inevitable roster cuts have started to follow.

Veteran linebacker Nick Barnett tweeted on Monday that he was informed of his release. Tim Graham of the Buffalo News reported that safety George Wilson also was let go.

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The Bills made it official soon after.

Barnett's release is not a huge surprise. Even though he remains an effective run-stopper, Barnett was exposed in pass coverage too often. He was set to make $3.5 million. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport said his release was listed as a failed physical on the league's transaction wire.

Cutting Wilson is more of an eye-opener. He was slated to make almost $3 million, but he was coming off an effective season when he was a captain and 16-game starter.

Perhaps this is a sign the Bills are confident they will retain impending free agent Jairus Byrd with the franchise tag or a free agent contract. These moves will help free up money for the Bills to bring back core talented players like Byrd and guard Andy Levitre.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.