More shuffling off in Buffalo: Starting LT Walker released by Bills

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Another day, another big shakeup to the Buffalo Bills' offense.

The team's release of starting left tackle Langston Walker, announced Tuesday in a three-paragraph statement, comes as the Bills make their final preparations to open the regular season Monday at New England. And the move comes after offensive coordinator Turk Schonert was fired Friday and veteran running back Dominic Rhodes was cut one day later.

Age: 30

Height: 6-8  Weight: 366

College: California

Experience: 7 seasons

The changes are regarded as the ongoing fallout from the Bills' new no-huddle offense that struggled this preseason. The Trent Edwards-led starting unit was limited to three points in 15 series, and the offense as a whole failed to score a touchdown in its final two preseason games.

Bills players had the day off Tuesday and return to practice Wednesday.

Walker's release means another change to an offensive line that was completely retooled this offseason. A two-year starter at right tackle in Buffalo, Walker was taking over on the left side after the Bills traded two-time Pro Bowl selection Jason Peters to the Philadelphia Eagles in April.

Geoff Hangartner, acquired in free agency this offseason, is the center, and Brad Butler is switching from right guard to right tackle. Buffalo's line also will include two rookie guards, first-round draft pick Eric Wood and second-rounder Andy Levitre.

While cutting Walker, the Bills re-signed veteran offensive lineman Kirk Chambers, who was among the team's final cuts last weekend. Chambers has experience playing tackle.

Another starting candidate is Demetrius Bell, who had begun splitting time with Walker in practice before hurting his back Aug. 24. Bell has began working out on his own and was expected to be cleared for practice this week.

Drafted in the seventh round by Buffalo last year, Bell was regarded as a raw project and didn't appear in one game last season to allow him time to develop. Bell is the estranged son of former NBA great Karl Malone and switched from playing basketball to football after his freshman season at Northwestern State University in Louisiana.

So much for the high-priced line that the Bills began assembling in free agency in March 2007 under former general manager Marv Levy. Walker was signed to a five-year, $25 million deal, the same day the team signed left guard Derrick Dockery to a seven-year, $49 million contract.

Dockery was cut in February.

Walker was scheduled to make a base salary of $3 million in each of the final three years of his contract, including this season.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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