Everyone knew time was short for Aaron Maybin to revive his fledgling NFL career in Buffalo's 2011 training camp. The time may have proven to be shorter than anyone anticipated. Maybin was waived by the Bills on Monday, two days after the team's first preseason contest.
"It's never easy," said Bills head coach Chan Gailey. "That's the hardest part of my job, releasing players especially a guy like Aaron because he put so much into it. There was an appreciable improvement to what we thought and better to do it now than to do it later."
Gailey believes that by releasing Maybin now, he has time to possibly sign with another club.
Buffalo's head coach had said time and again that Maybin had to get stronger, play more consistently and be more productive. Bills GM Buddy Nix confirmed that his lack of size and strength miscast him as a fit in Buffalo's defense.
"I don't know what scheme he fits at that size, unless you're a strong safety or something," said Nix. "He says it's his metabolism and maybe that's what it is, but he couldn't hold weight. He was 250 when we saw him at the combine and he was 228 this fall. Now he goes up and down some, but not very high."
Gailey inherited Maybin as a player who was taken in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft, a year prior to the coach's arrival. From the time he was a rookie getting on the field for measurable playing time proved difficult as evidenced by his 24 career tackles in 27 games.
Coming into this year's training camp Maybin curiously weighed the lightest he ever has (228 pounds) at the start of the season and was often overpowered at the line of scrimmage in practices.
The past week of camp he had become more noticeable with a fumble recovery, sack and quarterback pressure, but the consistency evidently was not enough to convince the Bills to hold onto him.
In Saturday's preseason opener, Maybin saw an extended period of playing time through the second and third quarters, but registered just a single tackle and at times found it difficult to hold his ground.
Buffalo's defensive staff will move forward with some of their own hand-picked prospects like Antonio Coleman and 2010 sixth-round pick Danny Batten, who logged a pair of sacks in Saturday's game at Chicago.
The promising start to the 2011 campaign by Shawne Merriman (2 sacks in nine plays) likely played a factor in Buffalo's release of Maybin as well.
Ultimately, it was Maybin's lack of production that got him moved off of Buffalo's roster.
"We needed him and wanted him to come through and wanted to make sure we gave him every opportunity. He did everything he could do. He hustled, he practiced hard, it just didn't work out."