Former Bills Rookie Tight End Signs With AFC East Rival: Report

Jalen Wydermyer

Getty Jalen Wydermyer #TE21 of the Texas A&M runs a drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 03, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Buffalo Bills wasted no time getting their roster down to the 85-player maximum before the NFL deadline on Tuesday. Less than 24 hours after the team’s preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts, the Bills released several players, including tight end Jalen Wydermyer.

However, the Texas A&M alum didn’t remain jobless for long. Just four days after he was cut, Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson tweeted that he was signing with one of Buffalo’s AFC East rivals, the New England Patriots.

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The 21-year-old receiver, who was a three-time All-SEC second-team selection, elected to forgo his final year of eligibility with the Aggies in order to enter the 2022 NFL Draft, per Sports Illustrated. While the 6-foot-4, 255-pounder was considered one the most promising prospective tight ends entering the draft, things didn’t pan out as expected.

CBS News Boston reported, “Wydermyer was once seen as one of the top tight end prospects in the country, but he didn’t have the breakout 2021 season for the Aggies that many had anticipated. After he didn’t test well at the NFL Combine or at his Pro Day, Wydermyer’s draft stock dropped significantly.”

During his tenure with Texas A&M, he appeared in 34 games and recorded 118 receptions for 1,468 yards and 16 touchdowns, becoming the school’s all-team leader as a tight end.

After the Patriots saw tight end Hunter Henry go down with an injury earlier this week, adding Wydermyer “could be an indication of his status,” as reported by Patriots Wire’s Cam Garrity. “Wydermyer will compete with Devin Asiasi, Dalton Keene, and Matt Sokol for the projected third and final tight end spot.”

The Bills Are Pretty Stacked at Tight End

During his appearance in the Bills’ 27-24 preseason victory over the Colts, Wydermyer only played six snaps on offense and nine on special teams, per SB Nation, but didn’t record any statistics.

Considering how stacked Buffalo’s receivers’ room is heading into the 2022 NFL season, making the 53-man roster would’ve been a long shot for the rookie tight end. With Dawson Knox firmly planted at the Bills’ No. 1 starter, Buffalo also added veteran O.J. Howard during the offseason.

The depth chart at tight end continues with Tommy Sweeney, Quinton Morris, and Reggie Gilliam. As for the Bills’ wide receivers, that list includes Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Jamison Crowder, Jake Kumerow, Isaiah McKenzie, Tavon Austin, and Khalil Shakir.

The Bills Cut 2 More Players on Tuesday

After the Bills released Wydermyer, offensive lineman Derek Kerstetter and Jordan Simmons, and cornerback Olaijah Griffin, on Sunday, more cuts were made two days later.

Head coach Sean McDermott and the Bills’ front office had until 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday to cut the team down to 85 players, however, they announced early in the morning that they were releasing not just one player, which would’ve cleared them under the NFL guideline, but two; bringing down the roster total to 84 players.

At 9 a.m. ET, the Bills revealed cornerback Tim Harris and linebacker Marquel Lee were being released, a tough break for both players considering this is the second time in two years that they’ve failed to make the active roster.

On Tuesday, August 23, the Bills will need to whittle the roster down to 80 players. The final round cuts have to be made by Tuesday, August 30, when Buffalo will have to make some incredibly difficult decisions in order to bring the roster down to 53 players.

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