ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - This is a rare one. The Bills release of Brian Moorman is front page news. There are very few punters who can drum up that level of attention, but it's a distinction that Moorman has certainly earned.
Since arriving in Buffalo in 2001, Moorman has been one of the best punters in the NFL. He punted his way to two Pro Bowls. In four of his seasons with the Bills, Moorman achieved a rare stat; averaging more than 40 net yards per punt. Add an impressive resume of charity work with the PUNT Foundation and Carly's Club, and it's easy to see why so many fans are emotional over Moorman's release.
"It's always a tough decision, especially with a guy like Brian who's been here 12 years and had such a great career with the Bills, and has been kind of a staple for this organization," Gailey said. "He and his wife do a lot of good things and that makes it tougher. But it's a decision we felt like we had to make."
At the age of 36, Moorman's production was beginning to tail off. His net average slipped to 32.7, which placed him 31st in the league. Additionally, he dropped only two punts inside the 20 yard line, and his total punt average of 45.5 had him 21st in the league. It's only three games in, but those are not up to Brian Moorman standards.
"It goes back trying to upgrade at the position, and looking down the road and that's basically it," Gailey added. "We do that and then we look at things and say well we can get better here and that's what we try to do."
And did Moorman's borderline legendary status in Buffalo play a role?
"We try to look all the time at a possible way to upgrade," Gailey said. "No position is exempt."