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Buffalo Bills News - March 4, 2002

Marker Bills focusing on quarterback [12:27 PM]
ESPN reports: @ According to ESPN's John Clayton the Bills are pretty focused on signing quarterback Jeff Blake or [Jaguars] Jonathan Quinn. They haven't made any decision whether or not to show interest in Elvis Grbac.

Marker Wallpaper on Phil Hansen by Gina Mustico [11:49 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: @ 'Moose' has released a Wallpaper of retired Bill Phil Hansen.

Marker Bills were willing to give 5th round draft pick for Blake [9:54 AM]
The Sporting News reports: @ The Bills were so interested in QB Jeff Blake that they were prepared to give the Saints a fifth-round pick for him. And Blake was so interested in playing for the Bills that he was willing to rework his contract. Knowing the Saints would release Blake anyway, the Bills backed out. Now that Blake has been released, he is expected to sign with the Bills.

Marker Let the QB search begin [9:25 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: @ Now that Rob Johnson has left Buffalo, let's all look ahead. Johnson was given every opportunity to be the leading QB of the Bills.

Marker Johnson to chat with Texans [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Houston offensive coordinator Chris Palmer was Johnson's quarterback coach at Jacksonville and thinks highly of him.'

Marker Donahoe ready to move forward without Johnson [8:37 AM]
AP reports: '"It was our intention to try and work something out with Rob," he said. "Right from the beginning we wanted to work something out. If there's a guy in free agency who makes sense, we'll take a look at him. But we really like Alex."'

Marker Why would Donahoe be interested in Kris Brown? [8:28 AM]
TBD reports: @ Kris Brown is kicker who missed so many field goals last year, right? Simon has the explanation.

Marker Kris Brown in Bills future? [8:15 AM]
ESPN reports: @ Don't be surprised if the Bills sign Steelers K Kris Brown, who is a restricted free agent, to an offer sheet, wrote ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli.

Marker Johnson fits Texans' bill at QB [2:27 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: 'A source with the Bills who knows Johnson said over the weekend that money isn't the issue with him because he made $18.8 million at Buffalo. The issue with Johnson is working with a coach who likes, understands and respects him in a situation where he can repair his damaged reputation.'

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March 3, 2002

Marker RJ to get look by Texans? [9:20 PM]
ESPN reports: @ Look for the Houston Texans to bring quarterback Rob Johnson, released by the Bills last week, to town for a visit. The meeting could take place as early as Tuesday, when the Texans start to visit with between 8 to 10 unrestricted free agents. Houston offensive coordinator Chris Palmer had the same job in Jacksonville when Johnson played for the Jaguars and is familiar with him. But it doesn't appear Johnson, or any other veteran QB for that matter, is going to get rich by signing with Houston. The team has decided that Carr will play as a rookie and has budgeted just $1 million for a veteran backup.

Marker Rob Never Did The Job [8:33 PM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'In the NFL you're either a winner or a loser, and right now Johnson is a loser, until he proves otherwise.'

Marker Bills hopeful for Cowart; looking at 2 ex-Titans [1:18 PM]
Shout! reports: @ The Bills are hoping that the unrestricted free agency market swings back into their favor with regards to middle linebacker Sam Cowart, just as it did with Ruben Brown two years ago. If not it appears they will turn toward ex-Titan players.

Marker Tackles measure up at combine [9:27 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'McKinnie and Williams - the top two offensive linemen in the NFL draft this year - are the kind of behemoths that are rare even by the oversized standards of pro football.'

Marker It's not a good time to be a free agent QB [9:25 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Considering how Johnson's situation had soured here - especially in the locker room where his teammates liked him but simply did not believe in him - it's probably a better career move for him.'

Marker Bills, Sabres fans are gnashing teeth for no good reason [9:24 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The problem is that the patience of Buffalo fans with young pro athletes, gauged on a scale of 1 through 10, measures around a minus-14.'

Marker Thousands rally to Children's defense [9:22 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and his wife, Jill, shared the podium to praise the work of doctors at Children's Hospital in caring for their 5-year-old son, Hunter, who suffers from Krabbe disease, and their two daughters.'

Marker You scratch my ego . . . [9:21 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The wordplay between former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt ended in a tie, with each scoring a verbal touchdown, at a news conference last week to promote Saturday's rally to keep Children's Hospital on Bryant Street.'

March 2, 2002

Marker Will Riemersma Accept A Paycut? [7:00 PM]
ESPN reports: The Bills have asked tight end Jay Riemersma to take a pay cut of $1.25 million on his base salary but are only offering the opportunity to earn back $500,000 of that in incentives. If he balks, Riemersma could be the next tight end to be released. ...

Marker There's a kicker [2:07 PM]
ESPN reports: Don't be surprised if the Buffalo Bills sign Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Kris Brown, who is a restricted free agent, to an offer sheet. The three-year veteran is coming off a miserable year, of course, one in which he missed a league-high 14 field goal attempts. But Bills general manager Tom Donahoe drafted Brown during his tenure in Pittsburgh, feels the kicker might benefit from a change of scenery, and wouldn't mind tweaking Steelers officials a bit.

Marker Ex-Bill Talley is given as example why free agency does not work [9:48 AM]
ESPN reports: In 1995 the Atlanta Falcons signed linebacker Darryl Talley, a Pro Bowl performer during his years in Buffalo, as an unrestricted free agent. They quickly found out that Talley, who played well in the Bills 3-4 defensive front, could not handle the move to a 4-3 design. Talley became not only a bad player, an aging and intransigent veteran who couldn't understand why he could not play up to his previous level, but eventually a locker room malcontent.

Marker 'Tennessee' Williams makes play on ex-Titans [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills' head coach said Friday he is interested in pursuing safety Blaine Bishop and linebacker Eddie Robinson.'

Marker Bills on QB Blake's free-agent tour list [6:38 AM]
D and C reports: '"I want to start in this league and there are a couple teams that want me to be their starter," said Blake, who plans to shop around. "I don't think I'll be out of a job next year."'

Marker Bills were right to cut Johnson [6:37 AM]
D and C reports: 'But Johnson always will be my prime example of why the NFL's complicated passer rating system is flawed. The formula rewards him for what he does best and completely ignores his major flaw -- getting sacked.'

Marker Saints unload Blake [6:36 AM]
New Orleans Times Picayune reports: 'Blake said Houston, Baltimore, Washington, Chicago, Carolina and Buffalo have shown interest in him.'

Marker Saints cut costly Blake in attempt to clear salary cap [6:35 AM]
Biloxi Sun Herald reports: 'The Bills will probably now take a run at Blake as a free agent.'

Marker Saints dump QB Blake to make salary cap room [6:34 AM]
Mobile Register reports: 'Saints general manager Randy Mueller tried to trade Blake to the Buffalo Bills Friday but neither team could agree on compensation for the veteran quarterback so he was released by the Saints.'

Marker Bishop, Robinson getting interest from Williams' Bills [6:33 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'Safety Blaine Bishop, released by the Titans on Thursday, spoke yesterday with Buffalo Bills Coach Gregg Williams and, not surprisingly, there is interest on both sides.'

The Titans may also have some stiff competition for defensive tackle Jason Fisk. His agent, Josh Wright, said Fisk is heading to Indianapolis tonight and will meet with representatives from the Browns, Bills and 49ers.

Marker Saints release QB Blake [6:32 AM]
Sportsticker reports: 'The Buffalo Bills, who released quarterback Rob Johnson on Thursday, could be among the teams interested in the 31 year-old Blake's services.'

March 1, 2002

Marker Speculation on Cowart [11:42 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: Possible suitors: Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, New York Giants, Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons. Reports out of Buffalo indicate that Cowart, despite missing all of last season with an Achilles injury, will demand a signing bonus in the neighborhood of $10 million. That eliminates teams like Jacksonville and Baltimore, who have the need but lack the cash. Houston, with its 3-4 defense and cap room, makes sense. The Giants need a replacement for Jessie Armstead, and the cap-strapped Jets could find a way to make Cowart work and keep him in New York with Marvin Jones and James Farrior on the market. Atlanta, with talent like Keith Brooking, Chris Draft and Mark Simoneau at :B, could use a player like Cowart if new DC Phillips decides to go to a 4-3 look. Cap concerns - the Falcons are only $800,000 under the cap at this writing - and the likelihood that owner Arthur Blank wants to spend his money on offensive players to surround Michael Vick could nix such a deal.

Marker Buchsbaum's look at players released [11:37 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: @ After being cut by Buffalo, QB Rob Johnson will have to take the veteran's minimum, with incentives, in order to get a job with another NFL team. Johnson is a workout warrior, very smart, tough - you can't say a bad thing about him if you go off practice tapes. He throws the ball beautifully, has a strong arm, and is not immobile. The problem is that Johnson is a thinker, not a reactor in games. He's got to see the play develop, think about it and then go, and that takes way too long. As a result, he holds onto the ball way too long, gets sacked way too many times and gets injured because he?s holding onto the ball so long and is so focused that he has almost no peripheral vision for the rush.

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