The Bills signed veteran punter Jon Ryan after a visit on Tuesday and released kicker Tyler Davis.
Ryan, 36, asked for his release from the Seahawks when it appeared that he might not win the job. Before being released, Ryan was set to earn $2.6 million in 2018 and $3 million in 2019 in the remaining two years of a four-year contract. Ryan will compete with Bills incumbent punter Colton Schmidt, who has been the Bills punter for the last four years. Cory Carter was waived/injured after tearing an ACWL in Friday's preseason game.
Long tenure: Ryan was described as a "franchise icon" in a news release announcing his departure. He was the team's longest-tenured player, the only player on the roster from before coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider arrived and played in a franchise-record 159 consecutive games. He also holds franchise records with 770 punts, 34,491 punt yards and 276 punts inside the 20-yard line. For his career, he has 914 punts for 40,895 yards and 311 punts inside the 20.
Not so happy: Ryan was not shy about sharing his feelings when the Seahawks moved up to select Michael Dickson in the fifth round. Ryan was quoted as saying this: "This is the business. If all the players got to pick who was on the team every year, we'd still have the Super Bowl team from five years ago." In reference to Seattle GM John Schneider, Ryan said: "If you let me, I'm going to compete my ass off, harder than you've ever seen. I love you. I have so much respect for you. But one way or the other, I'm going to make you look really dumb." If he is going to make Schneider look dumb, it is not going to be in Seattle.
Reunited: The Seahawks' punting and kicking duties were handled by Ryan and Steven Hauschka from 2011 to 2016. Ryan also served as Hauschka's holder. Hauschka signed with the Bills as a free agent before the 2017 season and had a strong first season in Buffalo.
The throw: Ryan is on the short list of people to throw a touchdown pass in a Seahawks playoff game, thanks to his memorable completion in the NFC Championship Game against the Packers in January 2015. The Packers had released Ryan in 2008. Hauschka set up for a 36-yard field goal attempt, but Ryan called the fake when the Seahawks got the alignment they had been looking for after working on the trick play in practice that week. With Seattle trailing 16-0, Ryan tossed a pass to offensive tackle Garry Gilliams for a 19-yard TD. Seattle would force OT and win the game to advance to the Super Bowl.
Famous wingman: You have to give Ryan credit for the shrewd move to meet his wife, comedian Sarah Colonna. According to the Seattle Times, Ryan was a big fan through her appearances on "Chelsea Lately." He saw Ross Matthews from the show on the sideline before the NFC title game in 2014 and he asked Matthews to put in a good word for him. "I had a little crush on her," Ryan told the Times. "From there I kind of stalked her on Twitter until she gave in and let me take her on a date in (Los Angeles)." The couple married in July 2016.