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Report: John Brown released by Bills

The Buffalo Bills are moving on from wide receiver John Brown, opening the door for Gabriel Brown and others on the depth chart.

John Brown #15 of the Buffalo Bills catches a touchdown pass from Josh Allen #17 in the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Bills Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills have decided to part with veteran wide receiver John Brown. The team announced the release on March 10, one week before free agency begins. The seven-year veteran gets a jump on a market that will include some significant receivers.

Brown was entering the final year of a three-year deal he signed in 2019. He was due to receive $7,050,000 in base salary along with $1.1 million in various bonuses. The Bills clear $7,931,250 in cap space with the move. Prior to the move, Buffalo had an estimated $3.4 million in cap space, according to Over The Cap.

It was a down year for Brown due to injury. He played in nine games and finished with 33 receptions, 458 yards, and three touchdowns. The year prior had been the best of his career, catching 72 passes for 1,060 yards and six touchdowns. He turns 31 in April, and is a good bet to be waiting at least a couple weeks into free agency after the big names come off the board.

Fantasy fallout

Stefon Diggs remains the Bills top pass catcher and this decision has no bearing on his value in fantasy football. Cole Beasley finished as the No. 2 pass catcher, and then it was a steep drop. Gabriel Davis had 35 receptions for 599 yards and seven touchdowns. Davis’ nose for the end zone bodes well for him taking over some of Brown’s work.

The Bills have other needs that are more significant, so we shouldn’t expect big moves in free agency. The team could add some talent in the draft, but Davis seems the early front-runner to get a boost i