Buffalo Bills: 5 Offensive Players on the Bubble Before Training Camp Begins
As the Buffalo Bills are making preparations for their training camp which starts in roughly a month, there are quite a few players who need to make a strong case to the coaching staff on why they deserve a spot on the final 53-man roster.
With the added depth across the board, thanks to Buddy Nix and Doug Whaley, it will be much harder to make this year's squad than in years past.
Today I'll take a look at five players on the offensive side of the ball who are at risk of losing their Buffalo Bills playbook.
TE Mike Caussin
Last season Buffalo Bills tight end Mike Caussin appeared in six games, starting two. He was the receiver of five passes, gaining 41 yards. Those are his career stats in his three years in the National Football League since being claimed as an undrafted free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The 25-year-old that stands tall at 6'5", 252 pounds out of James Madison is only owed $540,000 this season, but his salary is not the reason for him being on the roster bubble.
The Bills have a logjam at tight end with Scott Chandler as the obvious starter and the intriguing Dorin Dickerson, along with Lee Smith, Fendi Onobun, and Kevin Brock. Now it's unclear just how many tight ends the Bills plan on keeping, but I can't see them keeping more than three at most.
Caussin is coming off of a torn ACL and needs to prove his worth in the blocking game against the No. 2 Lee Smith.
OT Sam Young
When the Buffalo Bills claimed offensive tackle Sam Young from the Dallas Cowboys, Bills fans were happy to have depth at the offensive tackle position, as there was no competition behind Erik Pears at right tackle.
Highly touted coming out of high school and his early days at Notre Dame, the mammoth 6'8", 318-pounder slipped down the Bills' depth chart during the draft. The Bills selected offensive tackles Cordy Glenn with hopes of him holding down the blindside. Furthermore, they added Zebrie Sanders, a right tackle prospect.
While Young is only owed $490,000 this year with Chris Hairston battling to regain his starting job at left tackle, Young seems to be the odd man out.
RB Tashard Choice
Tashard Choice was claimed by the Buffalo Bills after playing with the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. In his six games with the Bills, Choice rushed for a measly 70 yards on 23 carries, while catching seven passes for 51 yards.
Choice will compete with Johnny White, a fifth-round draft choice in the 2011 NFL draft for the No. 3 running back role, which will be tough enough considering the carries Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller will be earning.
Owed $700,000 in base salary this season, Choice simply doesn't average enough yards per carry to garner a spot on the team.
WR Naaman Roosevelt
Naaman Roosevelt is a feel good story for the Buffalo Bills. Growing up in the area and attending the University of Buffalo, Roosevelt has quickly become a fan favorite since being signed as an undrafted free agent.
After being cut, re-signed and finally promoted to the active roster, Roosevelt has caught just 25 passes for 396 yards and a touchdown in his two seasons with the team.
However, the Bills are deep at the wide receiver position, and you have to figure the team will only keep six-to-seven considering how head coach Chan Gailey utilizes his spread offense. However, the Bills currently have 11 receivers on the roster, which could make Roosevelt's journey a bit more difficult.
The only thing Roosevelt has going for him at this point is his knowledge of the playbook and his limited chemistry with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Roosevelt is owed $540,000 in base salary this season.
QB Tyler Thigpen
Chan Gailey lobbied for the Buffalo Bills to bring in Tyler Thigpen, a former player of his during his tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs. The team signed Thigpen to a three-year, $9 million contract prior to the 2011 season with the notion that he would back up incumbent starter, Ryan Fitzpatrick.
However, with the addition of a more proven quarterback in Vince Young, Thigpen's only advantage over the former No. 3 overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft is his knowledge of Chan Gailey's offensive philosophy, which doesn't necessarily translate to the play on the field.
Thigpen is owed a pretty penny this season to sit on the bench, earning $2.5 million. With Ryan Fitzpatrick's recent $60 million contract, it's hard to imagine General Manager Buddy Nix wanting to spend $4.5 million on backup quarterbacks.