I can honestly say I am blindsided by this one.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Bills are going to release longtime punter Brian Moorman.
The Bills will reportedly re-sign rookie punter Shawn Powell from Florida State, who Moorman beat out to hold onto to the job in preseason.
Moorman, a two-time Pro Bowl pick, has been Buffalo’s punter since 2001. He has been outstanding for most of that time, but struggled a bit in 2011. This season, he had a very strong preseason to hold off Powell, but the veteran has struggled with his placement during the regular season. His net punting average through three games is just 32.7. He has only dropped two of his 15 punts inside the 20 thus far.
Assuming the Bills do go through with this, they will also need to replace Moorman as the team’s holder on placekicks. Powell supposedly can do it, as can safety George Wilson.
Powell has a huge leg, but he will need to work on his consistency. This is a really bold move to put so much trust in the rookie.
On a personal note, this is really a sad day for me. With the possible exceptions of Fred Jackson and Jim Kelly, Moorman is my all-time favorite Bill. His athleticism (he’s a three-time NCAA 400-meter hurdles champion), fearless, willingness to do crazy trick plays, and the fact he’s really an awesome guy have made him a favorite of many other fans, I’m sure. It’s tough to see a guy like Brian go.
I hope he has success in whatever he does next.