Roster cutdown day was mostly anticlimactic for Buffalo Billsfans on Saturday considering all three of the most talked about bubble players made the cut.
Defensive end Trent Murphy and rookie quarterback Jake Fromm both remained despite weeks and even months of speculation by fans and media members that they ultimately wouldn’t.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane hosted his final virtual press conference on Monday morning to discuss some of the big decisions he faced and why the Bills chose the way they did.
Trent Murphy is “a true pro”
Ever since Murphy inked his lucrative three-year deal before the 2018 season, it’s seemed a portion of the fan base has been in a hurry to run him out of town. The biggest reason has seemed to be this idea that the contribution Murphy has provided on the field doesn’t match up with the cost of his contract.
The Bills could have moved on from him last week and saved $8 million this season. That savings would ultimately get pushed to next season when the team has work to do to re-sign star linebacker Matt Milano. Many fans have framed the situation like this: Murphy out means Milano stays.
Beane said that the idea of moving on from Murphy was something that wasn’t happening inside the Bills’ building.
“Trent’s a guy that does things the right way every day – he’s a true pro,” Beane said. “We brought him here and he was coming off an ACL that first year. I thought year two he was a lot better. And we’re looking for year three in this system to be an even better version of himself.”
The Bills have some youth on their defensive line and Beane said it’s his expectation that Murphy will help lead players like rookie defensive end A.J. Epenesa and second-year end Darryl Johnson Jr. Even tackles like Ed Oliver in his second season and Harrison Phillips, who’s in year three.
“His leadership is very important to what he brings and there’s value in that. There’s value in the player,” Beane said. “A lot of times people get caught up in well, this number or the stats, but Trent does a lot of the little things and a lot of the dirty work too. It’s not all about the stats versus the salary with us. We’re looking forward to year three being an even better year for Trent.”
Bills investment in QB Jake Fromm impacted decision to keep him
When Beane drafted Fromm in April in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL draft, it took most fans by surprise. With Josh Allen entrenched as the starter and Matt Barkley as his backup, the question was how does Fromm fit in.
The biggest difficulty Beane and McDermott faced when having to decide on Fromm’s roster status after training camp was the limited amount of reps he received. Allen was the focus of a shortened camp to prepare for the regular season. But when Fromm did get his chances, Beane thought he moved the ball.