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Buffalo Bills News - March 1, 2002

Marker Bills don't tend offers to three [11:14 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: @ The Buffalo Bills did not tender offers to 3 players, including LB Kenyatta Wright, making them restricted free agents Friday. Joining Wright are offensive lineman Craig Heimburger and safety Keion Carpenter, according to a list of free agents released by the NFL.

Wright struggled in an attempt to help take over for Sam Cowart, who partially tore his Achilles' tendon in the Bills' season opener. After appearing in Buffalo's first 11 games, Wright was listed as inactive for the final five games.

Marker Reinfeldt turns down offer to be Falcons' GM [11:08 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: @ With Seattle Seahawks vice president Mike Reinfeldt turning down the job, the Falcons' other options are Saints general manager Randy Mueller and Tom Modrak, the Buffalo Bills' director of player personnel. Modrak would fill the personnel side of the job, but that could force the Falcons to make another hire to handle the business side.

Marker Where are they now - Mark Pike [10:54 PM] reports: @ Update on the bigger half of the Bills Special Teams Demon Pair, Tasker and Pike. He owns 3 health clubs back home in Cincinnati and in North Kentucky area.

Marker Saints release Jeff Blake......Bills Interested? [10:49 PM] reports: Now that the Saints have released Blake, the Bills have the ability to sign him as an UFA and do not have to absorb his salary cap figure. There were rumors the Bills were waiting for New Orleans to release him before they actively pursued Blake. Will Blake land in Buffalo to compete with Van Pelt for the starting job in 2002?

Marker Bills fail to tender offers to Wright, Heimburger and Carpenter [7:43 PM]
AP reports: 'The Buffalo Bills did not tender offers to three players, including linebacker Kenyatta Wright, making them restricted free agents Friday. Joining Wright are offensive lineman Craig Heimburger and safety Keion Carpenter, according to a list of free agents released by the NFL.'

Marker Western New Yorkers react to Rob Johnson's departure [4:33 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: '"Fortunately we didn't have a lot of Johnson inventory, it won't hurt us," Russo says. "But we'll have to take additional mark downs in order to clear it out."'

Marker Lions, Bills will look long, hard at a Duck [12:02 PM]
CNN/SI reports: @ At the combine, two teams very interested in Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington will be Detroit and Buffalo, who are scheduled to pick third and fourth in the first round of April's draft. Either team could draft Harrington. Either team could be open to trading down.

Marker Free agency begins with most teams in cap trouble [11:56 AM]
CNN/SI reports: @ There will be relatively few prime players available. Some of the best, in fact, may be players released for cap reasons in the past week or so. One player who could elicit interest is quarterback Rob Johnson, released Thursday by the Buffalo Bills, who had hoped when they signed him that he would be their long-term quarterback.

Marker Van Pelt tops Bills depth chart after Johnson's release [11:41 AM]
Fox Sports reports: @ Overall, Johnson went 9-18 as a starter and failed to finish 11 of 27 games he started. Van Pelt said bad luck played a big hand in Johnson's tenure in Buffalo. "It was just some freaky things that would sometimes knock him out," Van Pelt said. "Maybe it was bad luck."

Marker Johnson happy to cut [11:09 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: @ Rob Johnson, once considered the Buffalo Bills' long-term quarterback, was released by the team Thursday, proving too expensive, inconsistent and injury-prone.

"I'm kind of happy, really," Johnson said.

Marker Bills sack injury-prone Rob Johnson [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He finished his Bills career as the franchise's most accurate passer, hitting on 60.48 percent to nose out Jim Kelly (60.13 percent). Johnson also had the lowest interception percentage (2.56) of any Bills QB, being picked off only 17 times on 663 attempts.'

Marker Johnson's departure official [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He collected $18.85 million of the original $25 million contract he signed with the team.'

Marker Uneasy times dominated Johnson's tenure [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Flutie was known for doing a lot of politicking in the locker room, which Johnson thought was inappropriate.'

Marker See you later, Rob, thank you for . . . uh . . . [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Johnson lacks the savvy to sense pressure.'

Marker Johnson axed [6:50 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Johnson's inability to avoid the sack led to his persistent injury woes. With the Bills, he was sacked an average of once every seven times he dropped back into the pocket. In four seasons, Johnson never started more than five consecutive games without getting hurt and failed to finish 11 of 27 games he started.'

Marker Bills sack QB Johnson [5:06 AM]
D and C reports: 'Johnson was due a $2.15 million roster bonus if still on the roster today. Instead, his release freed $6.15 million of cap space, giving the Bills room to sign a free agent or to make a trade for a veteran to compete with Alex Van Pelt for the starting quarterback job this fall.'

Marker Door still open for Cowart [5:05 AM]
D and C reports: 'General manager Tom Donahoe and representative Paul Healy were engaged in late-night talks in Indianapolis, site of the NFL scouting combine.'
The Bills did not extend offers to their four other unrestricted free agents: starting center Bill Conaty; defensive end Shawn Price; cornerback Lance Brown and long-snapper Mo Unutoa.

Marker Kelly upset about closing of hospital [5:05 AM]
D and C reports: 'Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly announced a rally Saturday to protest a plan to close Children's Hospital in Buffalo.'

Marker Rob Johnson's Highlights and lowlights [5:03 AM]
D and C reports: 'Highlights and lowlights of Rob Johnson's four-year stay in Buffalo...'.

Marker Van Pelt tops Bills depth chart after Johnson's release [5:01 AM]
AP reports: 'After spending most of his seven seasons in Buffalo as the team's third-stringer, he has now outlasted both Johnson and Doug Flutie.'

Marker Jeff Blake - Worthy of being a Bill? [12:10 AM] reports: If you are curious about QB Jeff Blake - here is a nice summary written last week on the Stadium Wall by our resident stat and fact queen Lori.

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February 28, 2002

Marker Price ready for second turn at free agency [9:29 PM]
AP reports: 'Not expecting a contract offer from the Buffalo Bills before the deadline Thursday night, defensive lineman Shawn Price prepared to become a free agent for the second straight year. And he's not worried.'

Marker Bills release Johnson [9:27 PM]
AP reports: 'The Bills also announced that they released veteran cornerback Ken Irvin, saving another $1.9 million in salary cap money.'

Marker Bills waive QB Rob Johnson [9:26 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'The Bills are well under the $71.1 million salary cap before Friday's deadline, but were not willing to pay the price for Johnson after he endured a disappointing season under first-year coach Gregg Williams.'

Marker Prisco's top available free agents [8:57 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Prisco says "If he can get with the right team, with some decent players, he can be an effective starter." He rates Johnson ahead of Jim Miller who Bills are considering. Bill Conaty also makes his list at Center at #5.'

Marker Dilfer could finally be head of QB class [8:50 PM]
ESPN reports: @ Tony Banks and Jim Miller are the only fulltime starters from last season on the this year's list of 15 unrestricted free agent QBs. The Bills might look at Miller and Saints quarterback Jeff Blake, who will be traded or cut, now that they've released unpopular starter Rob Johnson.

Marker Buffalo can't agree with Johnson; cuts him [4:58 PM]
ESPN reports: 'GM Tom Donahoe said that the team has released the frequently injured seven-year veteran. "I just think it's time we both moved on," Donahoe said. The departure of Johnson, 28, will save the Bills a whopping $6.15 million on their 2002 salary cap, as Buffalo avoids paying his $4 million base salary and $2.15 million roster bonus that was due Friday. The Bills will have to carry a $5.075 million cap charge for Johnson, the remaining prorated share of his signing bonus. The club has discussed with New Orleans Saints officials a trade that would bring veteran quarterback Jeff Blake to Buffalo, a deal that could take place as early as this weekend if some hurdles are overcome.'

Marker Its Over. Johnson and Irvin Released [4:53 PM] reports: @ The Bills today announced that the club has released quarterback Rob Johnson and defensive back Ken Irvin.

Marker Kelly, Goo Goo Dolls protest plan to close Children's Hospital [3:01 PM]
AP reports: Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly and Goo Goo Dolls' bass player Robby Takac announced a rally Saturday to protest a plan to close Children's Hospital. ''This is something that's dear to my heart and very special to me,'' Kelly said Thursday. ''You can look at all the great things that the Buffalo Bills and myself have done in the past. But when it comes to family ... this is about as important as it gets.''

Marker Williams, Donahoe and deja vu [1:47 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Releasing Johnson and saying goodbye to Cowart would give the Bills cap room. It would also leave them with at least as many holes as they took into training camp last year.'

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