A member of the Bills 50th All-Time team and holder of the highest gross punting average (43.92) and net punting average (37.5) in team history, Brian Moorman, in a move that surprised the team's fan base, has been released by the Bills.
"We cut Brian Moorman this afternoon," said Bills GM Buddy Nix. "It's always a tough decision and especially a guy like Brian, a guy that's been here for 12 years and had a great career with the Bills. He's kind of been a staple for this organization and a lot of community service. He and his wife they do a lot of good things and that makes it tougher, but it was decision we felt like we needed to make.
"I've told you a hundred times that we look all the time to upgrade, and we look at more than this week. We're trying to upgrade and get a little better at each position. I've said this before too that no position is exempt."
A team captain for each of the last seven seasons, Moorman, a two-time Pro Bowl punter saw his career with the Bills come to a close two days after appearing in his 179th career game at Cleveland, good for sixth most in franchise history.
Moorman was also the longest tenured player on Buffalo's current roster after winning the punting job in 2001 following a successful stint in NFL Europe. Nix met with the veteran punter to thank him for his time and effort with the club.
"Brian did most of the talking, very congenial having been here and thankful for the chance and the years he spent with the Bills," said Nix. "He handled it well and it's never easy."
Buffalo replaced Moorman on their roster with the rookie he competed with in training camp, Shawn Powell. The Florida State product certainly has talent as evidenced by his gross punting average of 47 yards in his final college season, which led the nation and helped earn him 1st Team All-American honors.
"The upside is really good on this guy," said Nix of Powell. "He's a big man, which I think that helps punters, good height. He's a 240-pounder and he's got a very strong leg and tremendous hang time. He's Florida State's all-time leading punter. We really liked him and in fact even considered drafting him late last year."
Powell (6'4", 248) had a good preseason statistically with the Bills this past summer with a gross punting average of 44.8 and a net punting average of 40.4. Of his 14 punts in the preseason five were downed inside the 20-yard line and another four were fair catches.
This Sunday however, will serve as a pressure-packed debut for Powell, as the Bills host the Patriots in a pivotal AFC East contest.