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Buffalo Bills News - March 6, 2001

Marker Todd Collins hopes for chance to compete at QB [11:18 PM]
Kansas City Star reports: '[Where are they now?] Todd Collins, who could not unseat Warren Moon and has since retired, hopes to compete for the starting QB.'

Marker Salary cap status of all 31 teams [10:15 PM]
ESPN reports: 'Listed is the amount of money each team can spend under the $67.4 million cap during the 2001 veteran free agency signing period as of March 5... Buffalo Bills - $2.8 million.'

Marker It's time to stop playing 'tag' [9:41 PM]
ESPN reports: ESPN's John Clayton argues that the "franchise" tag designation has outlived its usefullness when the Colts can name their backup TE, Marcus Pollard, their franchise player. He notes that former Bills GM John Butler began the demise of the franchise tag, by discovering how to make it reusable from year-to-year. He proposes to replace the "franchise" tag with a single, reusable, transition tag for each team, each year.

Marker Flutie visits with Chargers [8:06 PM]
AP reports: 'Marcellus Wiley, a teammate of Flutie's the last three years at Buffalo, said he heard Washington, New England and Tampa Bay were interested in Flutie.'

Marker Kiper's first-round draft projection [2:27 PM]
ESPN reports: Junior Kiper thinks that the Bills will go after a cover corner in the first round. And to the dismay of Fred Smoot fan's, he predicts the Bills may go after Syracuse's Will Allen, who did well at the recent combine.

Marker Chargers, Wiley make it official [11:51 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Flutie will tour the practice facility and spend more time with the coaching staff today, then fly out tonight for a visit with an unidentified team, his representative said.'

Marker Bengals' attention turns to Williams [9:51 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'The Bengals have concerns about Washington's age (32), weight (350-370 pounds, give or take a steak) and asking price...The club has been negotiating with several other tackles simultaneously and is likely to make an offer to Tony Williams of the Minnesota Vikings today.'

Marker It's a bear market for NFL free agents,too [9:29 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: Pete Prisco reports that the days of using perks to recruit are gone. The Jaguars used to pick up players in a stretch limo, house them at a beachfront hotel and take them to the finest restaurants. Now a player might get a call and a ham sandwich. The only perk that really mattered anyway was money, and there simply isn't a lot of it to go around.

Marker Washington wants to be Bengal [9:22 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: Club executives and the agent for former Buffalo defensive tackle Ted Washington exchanged contract proposals Monday, and agent Angelo Wright said he is awaiting a counter offer from the Bengals. The Bengals initially offered two years and Wright wanted four.'

Marker Pete Gogolak: Then and Now [9:15 AM] reports: Something different for those tired of the Flutie news items (he is no longer on this team folks!) On Nov. 26, 1964, the 23-year-old Gogolak captivated the Bills' fans by booting a game-winning 33-yard field goal soccer-style with three seconds left to lift Buffalo to a 27-24 win over the San Diego Chargers.

Marker Flutie-Johnson passion rages [6:23 AM]
D and C reports: 'It figures to take a year or two for Donahoe's rebuilding plan to pay off, but the Bills have enough talent to remain competitive for a wild-card playoff berth. The 2001 Bills will be playing what appears to be a much softer schedule in a division that could be slipping.'

Marker Flutie could give Chargers a spark [6:22 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '"If we get Doug, beware of our team," Wiley said. "If that happens we're about to make that Baltimore run. Flutie is a winner. He's a great fit and an immediate impact-maker."'

Marker R.I. native Smith is trying to lure Flutie to Chargers [6:21 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Last night, Flutie was taken out for an Italian dinner by Butler, Smith, White and Turner. Flutie is scheduled to tour the Chargers' facilities today.'

Marker Flutie to meet with Chargers [6:19 AM]
AP reports: 'Doug Flutie planned to arrive in San Diego on Monday night and meet with Chargers officials on Tuesday. New Chargers general manager John Butler, who brought Flutie back to the NFL when he was GM of the Buffalo Bills, is angling once again to sign him.'

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March 5, 2001

Marker No Flutie, no excuses for Johnson [8:53 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Technically Johnson won the job, but it reality, all he was awarded was an opportunity.'

Marker Doug Flutie meets with John Butler tonight [7:37 PM]
XTRA 690 reports: 'A San Diego radio station (XTRA 690), is reporting that Doug Flutie will meet with John Butler tonight. They say it is a confirmed story and a 2 year contract is being discussed. San Diego is $4 million under the cap.'

Marker Why the West Coast offense has stood the test of time [3:27 PM]
The Sporting News reports: Dan Pompei says the West Coast offense is a solution to a league of imperfect passers. Four West Coast quarterbacks - Rich Gannon, Brian Griese, Jeff Garcia and Donovan McNabb - received Pro Bowl invitations in 2000, and another, Kerry Collins, went to the Super Bowl. None of these players was considered a Pro Bowl- or Super Bowl-caliber performer going into the season...

Marker Butler did it: Snagged Marcellus Wiley [1:18 PM]
North County Times reports: 'He receives a six-year deal worth $40 million, with a signing bonus of $9 million. His cap number for 2001 is $2 million, when including a $500,000 base salary.'

Marker Wily GM locks up Wiley for Chargers [11:10 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Wiley said he would miss Buffalo and its fans. He said the city opened its arms to him, and he felt as if he belonged. But the lure of returning to Southern California, where he grew up, was too attractive.'

Marker Cap Lessons [10:43 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: Citing the NFL Management Council, at the start of free agency, Buffalo was $2.0 million under the cap - with a mere 43 players under contract.

Marker Len Pasquarelli's Tip Sheet [10:39 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: The article begins with speculation that if Flutie were to sign with San Diego, he would be unwilling to step aside in two years for Michael Vick. Also: "In his exit physical with the Bills at the end of the 2000 season, Washington weighed 365 pounds. More significant, has learned doctors found some arthritis in his right ankle." Also: "If you're wondering why little-used tailback Antowain Smith has not been a part of the Buffalo Bills salary cap purge, it's because general manager Tom Donahoe actually has a few teams interested in trading for the four-year veteran. Not a major deal, mind you...."

Marker Chargers lure Wiley away from Bills [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It was going to take a free-agent market miracle for the Buffalo Bills to be able to retain defensive end Marcellus Wiley. The miracle did not happen.'

Marker Butler's Chargers bound to improve with Wiley [5:53 AM]
D and C reports: 'That's easy to do when a hard-luck team is coming off a 1-15 season, will benefit from a fifth-place schedule, and has the rights to the No. 1 pick in April's NFL college draft.'

Marker Bills uniform options won't make fans blue [5:52 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'The red, blue and white of the Bills we know are synonymous with Buffalo. Look around. We'd all be hard-pressed to find someone we don't know who doesn't own some piece of Bills' apparel. Men, women, teens, children. Winter jackets, baseball caps, sweatshirts, golf shirts.'

Marker Free-agent catch Wiley lands with Chargers [5:51 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: '"Of the teams interested in Marcellus, and those in which he was interested, too, the Chargers seemed to be only one with sufficient cap room. The market is bad right now, and it's going to get worse. We didn't want to still be out there when all the money dried up."'

Marker Chargers reel in coveted free-agent DE Wiley [5:50 AM]
CNN/SI reports: '"Marcellus had certain expectations in terms of money and when he got what he wanted on that front San Diego was his first choice," Blank said. "Marcellus grew up and lives in Los Angeles and the Chargers were the team he wanted to play for."'

Marker Butler turning Chargers around [5:49 AM]
Fox Sports reports: '...the Bills couldn't compete with the Chargers' offer. And, so, on Sunday they looked on helplessly as Wiley signed a six-year deal, the second starter on the team's defensive line to depart in two weeks.'

Marker Wiley agrees to $40 million deal with Chargers [5:47 AM]
AP reports: '"I want to give John Butler all the credit in the world, but the proximity to Los Angeles was huge," Blank said. "Personally, I'd like to keep him on the East Coast, but he's been away from home for a long time."'

March 4, 2001

Marker The ties that bind us to Buffalo [10:17 PM]
TBD reports: 'The ties that bind us to Buffalo... What happens when you are forced to leave Buffalo? When the economy is in a slump and taxes are too high and you can't make ends meet without a decent job? You miss those things that make Buffalo great! You miss those things that allow you to call Buffalo HOME no matter where you live.'

Marker Marcellus Wiley signs with Chargers [6:23 PM] reports: 'Both defensive end Marcellus Wiley and his agent Brad Blank have told NFLtalk that the top free agent defensive end, possibly the top free agent at any position, is now a San Diego Charger... Wiley's contract is for $40 million over 6 years with a $9 million signing bonus... Just 25 years old, Wiley had a breakout season in 2000 finishing the season with 10.5 sacks despite missing most of the preseason after back surgery... Originally a 2nd round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills in 1997, taken by then general manager John Butler, Wiley had an apprenticeship behind one of the best in the game, Bruce Smith.'

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09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
09/20 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
09/27 @ Miami Dolphins 4:25 pm
10/04 New York Giants 1:00 pm
10/11 @ Tennessee Titans 1:00 pm
10/18 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/25 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 9:30 am
11/08 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
11/12 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/23 @ New England Patriots 8:30 pm
11/29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/6 Houston Texans 1:00 pm
12/13 @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 pm
12/20 @ Washington Redskins 1:00 pm
12/27 Dallas Cowboys 1:00 pm
01/03 New York Jets 1:00 pm

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