ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Monday that the Buffalo Bills released defensive tackle Adolphus Washington. The 23-year-old had two years remaining on his rookie contract. In addition to this transaction, the club also signed outside linebacker Nate Orchard.
Bills waived defensive lineman Adolphus Washington, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 10, 2018
We’ve signed DE Nate Orchard to a one-year deal and released DT Adolphus Washington.
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) September 10, 2018
Adolphus Washington Released by Buffalo Bills
Buffalo will incur a $188,574 dead money charge on their 2018 salary cap, according to OverTheCap.com. It’s a relatively small addition to a sizable dead cap for this season. The Bills have twice as much dead money on their books for 2018 than any other NFL team.
Washington saw action on 32 defensive snaps during the Bills season opener, a 47-3 blowout loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He made just two tackles which were tied for 15th on the team. Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of 68.5 which ranked 36th among NFL interior defenders.
During his first two seasons with the Bills, Washington made a total of 22 starts and appeared in 30 regular season games. Last year, he led all Bills defensive tackles with 22 tackles and added a sack. He started the team’s playoff contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars and registered a single tackle.
But the unit as a whole didn’t exactly impress in 2017. The Bills surrendered 124.6 rushing yards per game which were fourth-worst in the NFL. And only the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers managed fewer sacks than Buffalo’s 27 on the year.
It’s a major reason why the team addressed their defensive front both in free agency and via the draft. They signed Star Lotulelei to a five-year, $50 million deal while also taking Harrison Phillips in the third round of the NFL Draft. Phillips is notable for doing the most bench press reps at this year’s Combine. He was also considered a steal considering where the Bills drafted him.
This is just the latest example of general manager Brandon Beane engaging in a clean break with the previous regime. The release of Washington means that the only player from former general manager Doug Whaley‘s 2016 draft class is Shaq Lawson. And though Lawson’s tenure in Buffalo has also been shaky, his status as a first-round pick likely precludes him getting released given the Bills’ dead cap situation.