Donte Whitner opened the start of OTAs as the starting strong safety but nobody is reading a sense of permanency in the move. Safety is a loaded position on the team and Whitner will have his hands full fending off George Wilson and Bryan Scott and newcomers Dominique Harris and Brett Johnson.
Then again, Whitner is a survivor and one of his greatest attributes is being able to adapt to whatever role the coaches find for him.
A starting safety duo of Whitner and free safety Jairus Byrd, last year's runner-up for AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, is rock-solid and a player like Wilson coming in on dime gives Buffalo added size. Scott played linebacker last year when injuries hit and is also a former starter.
Defensively, the starting line featured Kyle Williams at the nose with free agent Dwan Edwards and Marcus Stroud at the ends (Aaron Schobel remains home in Texas contemplating his future). Rookie Alex Carrington will push veteran Spencer Johnson for time in the rotation.
LT Demetrius Bell (ACL) and RG Eric Wood (broken leg) are not taking part in OTAs and continue to work on their rehab programs with team personnel in hopes of being ready for the start of training camp in July or the regular season in September.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--DE Ryan Denney, a capable backup pass rusher, was told by the team he was free to shop his services.
--S Todd Johnson appeared in eight games before going on injured reserve. Not a priority to be retained.
--OG Seth McKinney, an eight-year vet with 46 starts, was brought in for depth but couldn't stay healthy. Has been told he won't be brought back but things could change depending on status of Eric Wood, who is recovering from a badly broken leg.
--WR Terrell Owens, the future NFL Hall of Famer, was thanked by the club of his one-year of headline making and told he wouldn't be retained. He's 36 but should still draw some interest on the market.
--WR Josh Reed, who had 311 career catches in eight seasons, was informed he would not be offered a new contract and is free to shop his services.
--OG Kendall Simmons, a former standout for Pittsburgh, has been plagued by injuries for two seasons. Has been told to shop his services.
--LB Josh Stamer rejoined the team late in the season. Tough player who excels on special teams but team likely to explore more affordable options than paying a six-year minimum.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
--LB Marcus Buggs (not tendered as ERFA) will be coming back from major knee surgery and could be brought back as a depth player.
--RB Justise Hairston (not tendered as ERFA) spent the entire year on injured reserve.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
--LB Jon Corto: ERFA; $470,000/1 yr.
--*LB Keith Ellison: RFA; (tendered at $1.176M million with sixth-round pick as compensation); $1.176M/1 yr.
--OT Christian Gaddis: ERFA; terms unknown.
--CB Cary Harris: ERFA; $395,000/1 yr.
--TE Joe Klopfenstein: Not tendered as RFA; terms unknown.
--TE Derek Schouman: RFA; (tendered at $1.684M with second-round pick as compensation); $1.684M/1 yr.
--SS Bryan Scott: Potential UFA; $3M/2 yrs, SB unknown.
--TE Jonathan Stupar: ERFA; terms unknown.
--*S George Wilson: RFA; (tendered at $1.759M with second-round pick as compensation); $1.759M/1 yr.
--*CB Ashton Youboty: RFA; (tendered at $1.176M with third-round pick as compensation); $1.176M/1 yr.
--LB Andra Davis: FA Browns; $4.4M/2 yrs.
--DE Dwan Edwards: UFA Ravens; $18M/4 yrs.
--RT Cornell Green: UFA Raiders; $9M/3 yrs.
--WR Chad Jackson: FA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--TE Martin Matthews (waivers Lions).
--RB Chad Simpson: FA Colts; terms unknown.
--OT Brad Butler (retired).
--LB Chris Draft: UFA Redskins; terms unknown.
--TE Derek Fine (released).
--*QB Gibran Hamdan: Not tendered as RFA/Toronto-CFL).
--*OG Richie Incognito: Not tendered as RFA/Dolphins; $725,000/1 yr, $250,000 guaranteed.
--WR Justin Jenkins (released/failed physical).
--DE Jermaine McGhee (released/failed physical).
--LB Ashlee Palmer (released).
--C Marvin Philip (released/failed physical).
--OT Jonathan Scott: Not tendered as RFA/Steelers; $545,000/1 yr.
--DE Marcus Smith (released/failed physical).
--S John Wendling (released/failed physical).
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