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Bills waive cornerback EJ Gaines

The third time is evidently not the charm for the Buffalo Bills and cornerback EJ Gaines.

The Bills waived Gaines on Friday per the NFL’s transactions wire. Last offseason the Bills signed the 28-year-old to a one-year contract. However, Gaines opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19.

Gaines first joined the Bills in 2017 via trade, coming to Buffalo in the deal that sent Sammy Watkins to the Rams. Gaines had a successful season that year, notching 59 tackles, nine passes defended and an interception. After leaving, Gaines returned to the Bills in 2019  but was released with an injury settlement in August because of a core muscle issue.

Due to his opt out, Gaines never got a chance to compete for time in Buffalo’s secondary last season and it appears he won’t get a chance in 2021, either.

Releasing Gaines will save the Bills $850,000 against the salary cap, according to Spotrac. He had a minimal $25,000 dead cap hit. It’s unclear where the Bills currently sit at in terms of the 2021 salary cap because the NFL has yet to announce what that will be set at.