Dan Carpenter, Nickell Robey-Coleman among 5 players released by Bills

Veteran kicker Dan Carpenter was among five players released Monday by the Buffalo Bills in an apparent effort to create salary-cap space.

The Bills cleared about $6 million in cap space by releasing Carpenter, cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, long-snapper Garrison Sanborn, safety Phillip Thomas and tight end Gerald Christian. The Bills now have about $24 million in salary-cap space but have only 45 players under contract for 2017, the lowest total in the NFL.

Carpenter, 31, missed five extra points last season and converted only 76 percent of his field goal attempts, ranking him 32nd among 36 NFL kickers who qualified. Carpenter, who took a pay cut last offseason after a subpar 2015, was due to count $2.937 million against the Bills' salary cap this season. He had served as the Bills' kicker since 2013.

Robey-Coleman, 25, played the past four seasons as the Bills' primary slot cornerback after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He was due to count $2.083 million against the Bills' salary cap in 2017, the final season of an extension he signed in 2015.

Sanborn, 31, served as the Bills' long-snapper since 2009 and was among the team's longest-tenured players. He was entering the final season of his contract and set to count $1.087 million against the Bills' salary cap. Reid Ferguson, an undrafted rookie last season, is now the only long-snapper under contract for the Bills.

The Bills have 22 players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents and four players set to become restricted free agents when the NFL's free-agent signing period begins Thursday.