Following the conclusion of mandatory minicamp, the Buffalo Bills made the surprising decision to release wide receiver Jake Kumerow, as first reported by WGR 550’s Sal Capaccio, however, the 30-year-old veteran will not be gone for long.
Capaccio tweeted on Thursday, June 16, “Per a league source, Bills WR Jake Kumerow will be released today and re-signed tomorrow as a procedural move for salary cap purposes.”
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The move comes as a surprise since back in March, the Bills re-signed Kumerow to a one-year, $1.87 million contract, per Spotrac.com. Kumerow, who initially signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 2015, appeared all set to start his third season with the Bills.
The 6-foot-4 receiver, who earned the nickname “Touchdown Jesus” due to his long hair and beard, played with the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers before joining the Bills’ practice squad in September 2020 but was promoted to the active roster that December. During a game against the Denver Broncos, his first-ever reception from quarterback Josh Allen turned out to be a touchdown.
During the 2021 NFL season, he totaled 264 special teams snaps while tallying five tackles in the regular season. Throughout his five-year NFL career, he’s appeared in 24 games, while recording a total of 20 receptions for 322 yards and two touchdowns.
Last year, during training camp, Kumerow opened up to The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia about shifting to special teams. “My position is a football player,” Kumerow said.
“I like to be out there on any phase, whether it be offense or special teams. Whatever the team needs me to do. I enjoy playing special teams. Shoot, running down on kickoff is pretty fun… especially when you make a tackle inside the 20, or even the guy next to you makes a tackle inside the 20. It just gets you fired up, ready to go.”
What are the Bills Changing About Kumerow’s Contract?
Considering Kumerow only has a cap hit of $1.18 million, it’s unclear what or how the Bills are adjusting his deal or the effect it will have on the team’s cap as a whole. As it stands, Buffalo has approximately $5.5 million in cap space, per OverTheCap.com.
Capaccio said in a follow-up tweet, “I don’t know the exact details of how it impacts their salary cap. But obviously it does in some way. Could simply just be some contract language.”
Late on Thursday evening, NFL Network’s Mike Garafalo that Kumerow was already re-signed. Garafalo tweeted, The #Bills have already re-signed WR Jake Kumerow, as @SalSports foretold below. The move saved them a bit of money on the salary cap.”
If the Bills were making a major move, perhaps, preparing to offer an extension to one of the numerous players on expiring contracts, such as Jordan Poyer, Tremaine Edmunds, or Dawson Knox, it would make more sense if the Bill restructured the contract of a higher-paid player such as superstar cornerback Tre’Davious White, who has a cap hit $16.4 million for the 2022 NFL season.
QB Aaron Rodgers was Not Happy When Kumerow was Cut From the Packers
Last summer, when it wasn’t entirely Packers quarterback Aaron Rodger would remain in Green Bay for the remainder of his career, the 38-year-old former Super Bowl MVP called out the franchise for cutting Kumerow without discussing the move with him first.
“If you’re going to cut a guy who was our second-best wide receiver in training camp last year, maybe run it by me,” Rodger said on July 28, 2021, as tweeted by ESPN’s Jeff Darlington.
During the 2019 season with the Packers, Kumerow appeared in 14 games, started four, and finished the season with 12 receptions on 21 targets for 219 yards with one receiving touchdowns, per Pro Football Reference.