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The release of Edwards and now Lynch’s trade all point to this being a season of evaluation for the entire Bills roster after the team made few splashes in free agency this offseason and elected to rebuild through the draft.

Marshawn has worked hard and played hard for us this season and we certainly appreciate his efforts,” Bills GM Buddy Nix said in a statement. “We are constantly evaluating our personnel and feel that this is a good move for our team’s future.”

After losing his starting job to Jackson last season, Lynch reclaimed the job in Week 2 this year and led the Bills with 37 carries for 164 yards. In 45 career games, he has 2,765 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns, along with 670 yards receiving and a score.

The deal was made two weeks before the NFL trade deadline, and marks a turnaround in philosophy for the Bills, who said last spring they had no intention of trading him. Lynch had been seeking a fresh start after his reputation in Buffalo took a hit following his off-field troubles.

In June 2008, he pleaded guilty to a traffic violation and admitted to driving off after striking a female pedestrian with his car near Buffalo’s downtown bar district.

In March 2009, Lynch pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge in Los Angeles, after police discovered a semiautomatic handgun in a backpack of the trunk of a parked car Lynch was sitting in.


AP Sports Writer John Wawrow in Buffalo, N.Y., contributed to this report.