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Bills have retained NFL's fewest draft picks since 2010

After Thursday's trade down with the Kansas City Chiefs and barring any other such moves, the Buffalo Bills will make eight draft picks this year.

Recent history suggests not all of them will be around long. According to research from the website spotrac.com, the Bills have relinquished nearly 71 percent of the 55 players who they have drafted since 2010, the most in the NFL. "Relinquished" could mean the player signed as a free agent with another team, or was cut, traded or retired.

Per the website, the Bills have lost 11 players as free agents to other teams -- that figure of 20 percent is topped by only the Broncos (21.8) and Raiders (20.7) -- while 28 more have been released, traded or retired. The team has 13 players on its roster still under rookie contract, and just three who have been re-signed or extended after their rookie deal.

The next team on the list might surprise you. The New England Patriots have relinquished 65 percent of their draft picks since 2010. Of course, the only player who is irreplaceable in New England is quarterback Tom Brady -- everyone else is interchangeable.

It's worth noting, too, that not every instance of relinquishing a drafted player means it was a wasted pick. The Bills, for example, traded linebackers Kiko Alonso and Kelvin Sheppard during the time frame studied and received running back LeSean McCoy and defensive end Jerry Hughes in return, respectively. Relinquishing those draft picks for the return was worth it. It's also the cost of doing business in the league that when a player does well on his rookie contract, he seeks a bigger deal the next time around. The salary cap makes it difficult, if not impossible, to re-sign all those players. The trick is to draft well so that low-cost replacements are readily available for those who depart.

Take a closer look at the round-by-round results under General Managers Buddy Nix and Doug Whaley, however, and it shows where the struggles have been.

• There have been six players drafted in the first round: Two (Shaq Lawson, Sammy Watkins) are still on their rookie contracts, one has been re-signed (Marcell Dareus) and three have been lost to free agency (Stephon Gilmore, EJ Manuel, C.J. Spiller).

• Of the eight players drafted in the second round, three are still on rookie contracts (Ronald Darby, Reggie Ragland, Cyrus Kouanjdio), one has been re-signed (Cordy Glenn), one has been lost to free agency (Robert Woods) and three have been cut or traded (Torell Troup, Aaron Williams, Kiko Alonso). Williams did sign a contract extension before he was released this offseason.

• Of the seven players drafted in the third round, three are still on rookie contracts (John Miller, Adolphus Washington, Preston Brown), two have left as free agents (Marquise Goodwin, Alex Carrington) and two were cut or traded (T.J. Graham, Kelvin Sheppard).

• Of the eight players drafted in the fourth round, just one is still under his rookie deal (Cardale Jones), while three have been lost to free agency (Nigel Bradham, Ron Brooks, Da'Norris Searcy) and four were released (Marcus Easley, Chris Hairston, Duke Williams, Ross Cockrell).

• In the fifth round, just one player (Jonathan Williams) is still under his rookie contract -- six of the other seven are no longer in the NFL.

• In the sixth and seventh rounds combined, 18 players have been drafted. Just five of them -- cornerback Kevon Seymour, wide receivers Kolby Listenbee and Dez Lewis, right tackle Seantrel Henderson and tight end Nick O'Leary -- are still property of the team.

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