The Buffalo Bills have lost a starter from last season in free agency.
Cornerback E.J. Gaines signed with the Cleveland Browns on Friday. Gaines played just one season with the Bills after coming over in a training camp trade with the Los Angeles Rams, but was a solid contributor in the Buffalo secondary.
In 11 games, Gaines finished with 59 tackles, three forced fumbles, nine passes defensed and one interception. The only knock on him was durability – he missed five games with a combination of groin, hamstring and shoulder injuries.
Previously, he missed all of the 2015 season with a Lisfranc foot injury. That could explain why the 26-year-old lasted on the open market as long as he did. Signing in Cleveland reunites Gaines with Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who held the same job with the Rams from 2014-16. Gaines was a sixth-round pick by the Rams in 2014.
Gaines also made visits to the Cardinals and Jets before signing in Cleveland. The writing was on the wall for his departure since the Bills added Vontae Davis about a week before the start of free agency. Davis is penciled in to start next to Tre'Davious White in the Bills' secondary.