Buffalo Bills: 5 Players With the Most to Lose During Training Camp

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Buffalo Bills: 5 Players With the Most to Lose During Training Camp

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Kevin Hoffman-USA Today Sports

The Buffalo Bills are a very young team. An abundance of roster holes coupled with an above-average turnover on the organizational level has the team pointed in a drastically different direction than they were headed this time last year. To fill those roster holes, the team has plugged in a number of rookies at some key skill positions. The most notable of these rookies include wide receivers Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin, linebacker Kiko Alonso, and, of course, quarterback E.J. Manuel.

All these new faces can only be good for a team with as impressive a losing streak as the Buffalo Bills, but they have also led to some very intriguing offseason competition. New head coach Doug Marrone has been the biggest catalyst for this team-wide roster battle by declaring open competitions at every position.

If Marrone is to be taken at his word, then any player on the roster has the potential to either climb the ranks or drop out of contention for a starting position between now and the start of the regular season. Naturally, some players have more cause to be worried than others, but everyone should be bringing their A-game to training camp for obvious reasons.

The massive roster competition has slowly been heating up since the NFL Draft back in April, and it is set to come to a head this month when training camp officially begins. The Bills currently have several players sitting on the edge of relevancy, and how they perform this summer will determine their future with the team. If they rise to the occasion, they could very well earn (or keep) a starting job. If they fail to perform, they could find themselves on the bench, or worse... out of a job.

Here are five Buffalo Bills with the most to lose during training camp.

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Robert Woods

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Timothy T. Ludwig-USA Today Sports

It is more or less assumed at this point that Robert Woods will be the Bills No. 2 wideout to start the season. It would be a huge mistake for Woods to get complacent, though. Hot on his heels are fellow rookie Marquise Goodwin, sophomore receiver T.J. Graham and undrafted rookie Da'Rick Rogers. All three of these young players have the potential and the raw physical ability to surpass Woods on the depth chart, and all three of them plausibly could.

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Kevin Kolb

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Kevin Hoffman-USA Today Sports

Mostly due to his six years of NFL experience, Kevin Kolb currently seems to have the leg up on E.J. Manuel in the team's quarterback competition. With that being said, when the Bills drafted Manuel with the 16th overall pick, it was with the assumption that he would be the eventual starter. Kolb will have his work cut out for him if he wants that takeover to happen later rather than sooner. Manuel is a bright, talented, charismatic leader with a rocket for an arm and the ability to truck the ball down field using his speed and size. Simply put, Kolb needs to put on a show in training camp if he doesn't want to end up as a back-up yet again this season.

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Scott Chandler

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Kevin Hoffman-USA Today Sports

Scott Chandler is a great tight end and an incredibly hard worker. The mere fact that he is already seeing reps on the field after tearing his ACL less than eight months ago is a testament to that. However, coming back from such a serious injury and picking up right where you left off is never easy in the NFL, or any sport for that matter. With rookie TE Chris Gragg determined to dominate, it might prove difficult for Chandler to keep his starting job.

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Jairus Byrd

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Kyle Terada-USA Today Sports

While all the other players on this list stand to lose ground on the depth chart, Jairus Byrd is a different story. The star safety stands to lose a boatload of money, and a long-term future with the team that drafted and developed him into the defensive stud that he is. The Bills and Byrd are nowhere near reaching an agreement on his contract extension, and it appears as though Byrd may be forced to sign his franchise tender in just a few days. If he doesn't, he will be unable to attend training camp and his standing with the team will continue to slip.

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Marcell Dareus

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Kevin Hoffman-USA Today Sports

After failing to live up to the lofty expectations placed on him throughout his first two years in the league, Marcell Dareus is now battling to keep his starting position on the team. As a former third overall draft pick, Dareus should not be battling Alex Carrington or Jay Ross for snaps with the first-team defense at this point in his career. Nevertheless, that is the reality of the situation right now. Dareus' job is in danger, and it's time for him to step up and play like the star lineman he is capable of being.


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