When he was drafted he was considered an interesting project. A nearly 400-pound offensive lineman with uncommon athletic ability was worth a late seventh-round draft choice. Unfortunately Michael Jasper has not developed in the manner that the coaching staff had hoped prompting his release on Monday.
Jasper, the last member of the 2011 draft class, did not make the team's 53-man roster as a rookie, but spent almost the entire season on the Bills' practice squad. In Week 17 he was called up to the active roster, but did not play in the season finale at New England. Entering the 2012 offseason, Jasper was surrounded by more competition at the interior offensive line positions.
Jasper was running with the second and third team offensive line at left guard, but has been outperformed by other reserve guards like Chad Rinehart, Colin Brown and Keith Williams. Buffalo also drafted a guard-center prospect this past spring in sixth-round pick Mark Asper.
Making his chances even longer were his own struggles on the field, which did not go unnoticed.
"Michael is struggling," said head coach Chan Gailey on the heels of the team's first preseason game last week. "Michael has got to learn his assignments. He's got to learn to play physical every snap. A big, strong guy that's got a lot of talent as we all know, but he's got to be more physical and he's got to continue to push through on assignments."
Jasper's release puts the team roster total at 89, one short of the offseason limit (90).