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Buffalo Bills News - March 8, 2002

Marker Bills banking on Fletcher as new leader of defense [5:04 AM]
D and C reports: '"By them bringing me in as their first free agent visit, it showed me they really wanted me," Fletcher said. "Coach Williams looked me in the eye and I saw his passion for having me here. It would have been hard-pressed for any of those other teams to sell me on their organization."'

Marker Fletcher takes Cowart's spot [5:03 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"I just thought it was time to move on," said Fletcher, a 26-year-old who won a Super Bowl with the Rams two years ago and played in their 20-17 loss to the New England Patriots last month. "My gut told me that I had done everything I could accomplish in St. Louis."'

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March 7, 2002

Marker Bills sign ex-Rams LB Fletcher [11:16 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: @ Buchsbaum: The Bills, who needed an impact LB to replace injury-prone Cowart, signed former Rams LB London Fletcher. Fletcher can be a very effective player if the tackles in front of him keep him free. He?s extremely active and runs very well and has good instincts. However, at times he will gamble too much and take himself out of position. He has some hot dog in him and is a very aggressive player who will take some dumb penalties. He also likes to call attention to himself.

Marker Fletcher Is A Big Time Signing [11:02 PM]
BillsDaily reports: @ A scouting report on Fletcher from the view of a avid Rams fan.

Marker Info on Bills' new uniforms [10:37 PM]
Shout! reports: Shout's Mike Doser has inside info on new uniforms.

Marker Mike Caldwell speaks to media [10:07 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Where have you been and where are you heading? This is my first visit. I am headed to Chicago this afternoon and scheduled for Pittsburgh on Monday.'

Marker London Fletcher speaks to the Media [10:05 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"This is a true football town and I am thrilled to death about getting involved in the community and just becoming a true Buffalonian."'

Marker Fletcher signs with Bills [10:00 PM]
AP reports: '"I know there's not a lot of difference between winning and losing," he said, noting the Rams were 4-12 in his rookie year, 1998 and went to the Super Bowl the next season. "That year we were fortunate to get Marshall Faulk and a couple of other free agents. I hope we can get some other free agents excited about coming here."'

Marker Bills sign LB Fletcher to replace Cowart [9:59 PM]
Sportsticker reports: '"I was a leader in St. Louis," he said. "I considered myself a leader from the moment I stepped into the locker room. I was captain of the special teams as a rookie. You don't have many guys who come in and be a captain as a rookie. I don't have a problem with being the leader."'

Marker Has motor, will play [9:58 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'That's what you have to like about the 5'-10" Fletcher, who wasn't even drafted. He has a MOTOR, and Donahoe LOVES players with MOTORS. They don't need fancy pep talks, they don't take plays off. That's London Fletcher, who led the Rams in tackles three years running. He also doesn't come off the field on passing downs, and in fact, had six interceptions over the past two seasons.'

Marker Jets give Cowart six-year contract [1:45 PM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: 'Now if linebacker Sam Cowart can return from a lost year as the human wrecking ball he was for Jets defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell during two standout seasons in Buffalo, the Jets landed the steal of this free-agent class yesterday.'

Marker Fletcher Already talking about creating a Community Presence. [1:44 PM]
BuffaloBills.Com reports: Fletcher has discussed what assistance the team's community relations department can offer in setting up inner city scholarships both in Buffalo and his Hometown of Cleveland.

Marker Jets get defensive prize [9:16 AM]
Bergen Record reports: 'Combined with a high left ankle sprain suffered at the end of his 2000 Pro Bowl season, Cowart has played just one half of football in the past 20 games. But he said that has taken away none of his play-making ability. "Most definitely, the impact is still there," he said. "Right now I'm 95 to 97 percent. The Jets told me this is no rush issue, we don't play until September, we'll bring you along slow."'

Marker London signed to bridge huge gap [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He is a fireplug-shaped tackling machine who starred on the Rams' defense the last three seasons. His nickname is "dot.com" because, as he likes to say, he's always on line to make the tackle.'

Marker The London Fletcher file [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Signed as undrafted college free agent in April 1998.'

Marker Texas Rob comes out shooting bull [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'What Johnson can't face is that his career has - financial windfalls aside - been a huge disappointment.'

Marker Land top linebacker Cowart [8:24 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: '"The Jets believed in me."'

Marker New York Jets Sign Free Agent Sam Cowart; Re-Sign Marvin Jones [8:23 AM]
Bloomberg reports: 'Cowart had 487 tackles, four interceptions, three fumble recoveries and 6 1/2 sacks in his five seasons in Buffalo.'

Marker Bills, Linebacker London Fletcher Agree to Five-Year Contract [8:22 AM]
Bloomberg reports: 'St. Louis was unable to resign Fletcher after the season, and on Sunday signed free agent Jamie Duncan to replace him at middle linebacker.'

Marker QB Blake piques Buffalo's interest [8:19 AM]
New Orleans Times Picayune reports: '"I'm not going to rush into anything," Blake said. "But with the (NFL) combine over, things should heat up by next week. If I had to sign today, it would be with Buffalo, but I'm trying to get in the best situation for me."'

Marker Jets sign ex-Bill 'Sam C' [5:20 AM]
New York Post reports: '"The addition of 'Sam C' makes our linebacker corps one of the best in the league. I can't wait to get on the field now. It'll be something to see."'

Marker Jets Taking Big Gamble [5:19 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Worst-case scenario: If Cowarts reinjures his Achilles early in the season, the Jets can cut him next offseason without major cap implications. Basically, it's a $3 million gamble.'

Marker Jets Add Playmaker [5:18 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'Cowart's negotiations with the Bills hit a snag, apparently because Buffalo wanted his salary in 2003 reduced if he got hurt in 2002. There is no such clause in the Jets' contract. However, Cowart is eligible for up to a $6-million option bonus next March, which is partially based on playing time. If exercised, the bonus would be prorated over the final five years of the deal for cap purposes.'

Marker Tennessee loses Fisk to Chargers [5:17 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'Safety Blaine Bishop spent yesterday in Buffalo visiting with the Bills while receiver Chris Sanders, released by the Titans last week, has drawn interest as well.'

Marker Texans zero in on Wong, Bradford [5:16 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: 'Meanwhile, negotiations with free-agent quarterback Rob Johnson are at a stalemate. The Texans are holding firm to their one-year, $1 million commitment, and Johnson has said Houston is where he wants to be and that money won't be an issue. Nevertheless, he and his agent have not pulled the trigger on the deal.'

Marker Ex-Ram Fletcher replaces Cowart [5:12 AM]
D and C reports: 'A tenacious player who goes sideline-to-sideline, the Bills like Fletcher because he'll be able to anchor the middle of their 4-3 defense and stay on the field on passing downs, either in coverage or to blitz.'

Marker Cowart back with Cottrell on rival Jets [5:11 AM]
D and C reports: '"I was lobbying for Sam since I got here," said Cottrell, who joined the Jets last year. "I never thought we could pull this off because he's one of those rare players. Needless to say, I was jumping up and down when it happened."'

Marker Losing Cowart to the N.Y. Jets could backfire [5:10 AM]
D and C reports: 'Donahoe and Williams appear determined to win or lose with their own guys. Given a reasonable amount of time, they probably will.'

Marker Steelers, Bruener agree on new deal [5:08 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'The Steelers also are trying to bring another player home, former Pitt tight end Dave Moore, who was released by Tampa Bay for salary cap purposes...Moore was in Buffalo yesterday.'

Marker Steelers kicker to visit Buffalo [5:07 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: 'Steelers kicker Kris Brown will get lots of frequent-flier miles, not much rest and, perhaps, a new place to play next week. Add Buffalo to his travel itinerary, after the Bills scheduled a meeting with Brown for next Tuesday and Wednesday.'

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