Down but not out in South Central L.A. [12:21 PM]
ESPN reports: Marlin Briscoe was the first African-American quarterback to start a pro game 34 years ago for the Denver Broncos. Now he's trying to make a difference again at an outreach program in Los Angeles. After his release from the Broncos, Briscoe latched on with the Buffalo Bills and became a wide receiver, a position he had never before played. The first season, he became the Bills' offensive MVP. A year later, he led the league in receiving and became an All-Pro
Saints sign Lewis, looking for team to trade Blake [8:21 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: As for Blake, the Saints would like to receive a fourth-round pick for his services, with the Bills one team that may be interested. The Bills are looking for a veteran QB to compete with Alex Van Pelt, which almost certainly means that Rob Johnson won't be back.
The 31-year-old Blake has a cap figure of $6.166 million in 2002, which is why the Saints want to trade him. They would save about $2 million by trading him. He is also due a roster bonus of $1.25 million on March 2.
Losing Black was no loss for the Bills [4:50 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Without that special teams edge, he quickly fell to No. 5 wideout behind starters Eric Moulds and Peerless Price, rookie Reggie Germany who moved up to the No. 3 spot and even Jeremy McDaniel who fell into disfavor.'
Texans nab Black, pass on Johnson [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills lost reserve receiver Avion Black to the Texans. But after Black was taken, the Bills did not bother to pull Johnson back onto their protected list, as was their option.'
Johnson's time as a Bill must end now [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Stop pretending he's going to swallow a huge salary cut and come crawling back to a town that is sick of him. Put the fans, the players, the media and Rob himself out of their misery and cut the guy right now.'
Texans select Black with 16th pick in expansion draft [8:28 AM]
Sports Network reports: The 24-year-old Black was mostly a special teams player for the Bills last season. He has 697 total return yards, eight receptions for 90 yards and five special-teams tackles in his NFL career.
Bills stuck with Johnson's huge salary [8:07 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: The Houston Texans didn't want Rob Johnson on Monday, and the Buffalo Bills still haven't decided whether they intend to keep him.
Texans aren't desperate for quarterback help [7:55 AM]
ESPN reports: By selecting Bears backup Danny Wuerffel to go with veteran Mike Quinn, the Texans don't have to hit the QB market hard. If Gus Frerotte, Jim Miller or Rob Johnson -- if he's cut by Buffalo -- wants to come to Houston for a $1 million, one-year deal, the Texans will probably accommodate him. Frank Reich started in Carolina until Kerry Collins was ready in the first month. The Texans -- if they draft Carr -- are only asking for games, not years, from a veteran QB.
Johnson's status depends on contract [5:26 AM]
D and C reports: '"We've been pretty open about the situation right from the end of the season," Donahoe said. "If there's a chance for Rob to come back the contract's a factor. If they're not receptive to that, it's going to be difficult for us to bring him back. We can't do it under the current number."'
Ex-Bill Patton, 34, agrees to six-year contract [9:26 PM]
ESPN reports: Veteran LB Marvcus Patton, a starter for the Kansas City Chiefs the last three seasons, agreed to a six-year contract Monday. Patton was an eighth-round draft choice of the Buffalo Bills out of UCLA and played on all four of the team's Super Bowl squad.
Bills' Johnson still in limbo after Texans pass on him [9:24 PM]
AP reports: 'Asked the chances of Johnson taking a pay cut, Donahoe replied: ``I don't know. You'd have to ask Rob that question. I'm not good at mind-reading. And a pay cut is only the first step", Donahoe added.'
Houston Texans Expansion Draft - Tom Donahoe Comments to the media [9:24 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: [Q] On the possibility of Rob staying and accepting a pay cut…
[A] You would have to ask Rob that question. I am not good at mind reading, I failed that course in college. We have had discussions with David Dunn, we'll have some more and see what happens. We have spoken a couple times.
Cowart-Bills contract talks remain stalled [8:26 PM]
AP reports: 'On Monday, Bills general manager Tom Donahoe said he hasn't ruled out using either a franchise or transition tag on Cowart prior to Thursday's deadline. Such a move would at least give Buffalo the right to match any offer made to Cowart by any other team.'
Texans take WR Black with 16th pick of expansion draft [6:26 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Black, who turns 25 in April, had just four catches for 45 yards last season.'
Avion Black taken as #16 by Texans in Expansion Draft [4:46 PM]
ESPN reports: Avion Black was the only Buffalo Bill taken in 19 picks taken by Texans.
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: The two-year veteran wide receiver is still very raw and only caught eight passes in 2001. But he has good size and decent speed, nice body control, and seems to have potential as a wideout and clearly can help in the kickoff return game. With a cap price of $460,000, he's worth a gamble.
Avion Black on list of players Texans considering [9:06 PM]
ESPN reports: Buffalo two-year veteran wide receiver Avion Black is still very raw and only caught eight passes in 2001. But he has good size and decent speed, seems to have potential as a wideout and clearly can help in the kickoff return game. With a cap price of $460,000, he’s worth a gamble.
Texans to spend but not for Bills [9:21 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Texans General Manager Charley Casserly and head coach Dom Capers wouldn't comment on specific players during a national conference call earlier this week, but they didn't seem overly enthusiastic about Johnson when asked about him.'
Van Pelt's QB Salary numbers [9:57 PM]
ESPN reports: Some catching up on the details of a few new contracts recently awarded to quarterbacks: The five-year deal signed by Alex Van Pelt of Buffalo is worth $5.4 million and it includes a $1 million signing bonus along with base salaries of $650,000 (for 2002), $750,000 (2003) and $1 million each for 2004-2006.
Bills sign two free agents [9:33 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills have signed guard Robert Hunt and wide receiver Andre Rone, the team announced Friday. Both were free agents.'
Blank hopeful he can offer McKay GM job [8:06 PM]
AP reports: 'Blank covets McKay, whose credentials are better than the three candidates he's interviewed -- Buffalo director of football operations Tom Modrak, New Orleans general manager of football operations Randy Mueller and Seattle senior vice president Mike Reinfeldt.'
Bills sign free agents Hunt, Rone [3:06 PM]
AP reports: 'Hunt, a guard, was in Kansas City's training camp last year but was released at the end of preseason. He played for the Frankfurt Galaxy in NFL Europe in 2000. Wide receiver Rone spent three seasons on Detroit's practice squad after being cut by Miami, where he had entered the NFL as a rookie free agent in 1998.'
Texans unlikely to help teams looking to unload salaries [2:05 PM]
CNN/SI reports: No one believes Carolina will ever pay Sean Gilbert the $10 million he's scheduled to make or that Rob Johnson will ever see the $11 million his contract calls for.
An Olympic fiasco; who do Bills lose? [1:22 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'This could well be the off-season's most interesting week for the Bills.'
Bills sign 2 more FA. [1:21 PM]
BuffaloBills.Com reports: Today they signed WR Andre Rone and G Robert Hunt.
Kelly's ailing son celebrates fifth birthday [9:36 AM]
AP reports: 'Kelly, selected for induction earlier this month, said his biggest wish is that Hunter is able to join him on the podium for the formal induction ceremonies in Canton, Ohio.'
Genius du jour [7:08 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'If the 2001 NFL season taught us anything it was that the line between "genius" and "idiocy" is a very fine one indeed.'
Community 2001 Year in Review… [7:07 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'During the football season, NFL players are allowed one day, Tuesday, away from their strict training regimen. The Buffalo Bills view this day, not as a day to rest, but an opportunity to give back to the community that so avidly supports them.'
Texans not big on Fina [5:17 AM]
D and C reports: 'Fina, one of five Bills made available for selection, is too old and his contract too expensive under the criteria Texans general manager Charley Casserly has developed for Monday's draft.'
Levy would fit bill for Bucs [5:16 AM]
D and C reports: 'Levy could help them shed their desperation. He would bring a touch of class and leadership to an organization that has become the laughingstock of the league. And he might just be the right man at the right time for a veteran team that still has enough talent to make a run at the Super Bowl in 2002.'
Texans not interested in selecting Fina in expansion draft [9:34 PM]
AP reports: '"Any player that was over 30 years old we eliminated from our thinking," Casserly said during a telephone conference call with the media on Wednesday. Casserly added that he doesn't want to gamble on whether older players can complete the duration of expensive, long-term contracts. That's a number of strikes against Fina, who turns 33 next month and has five years left on a deal scheduled to pay him $19 million. Fina's durability is also in question after knee problems forced him to miss three games last season.'
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