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Buffalo Bills News - March 30, 2015

Marker Rex's buzz, Bills opponents offer plenty of schedule speculation [1:59 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'I’ll stick with what I just wrote and say they have, in my estimation, a 25% chance of opening at New England. If the Pats draw an opponent other than the Bills or Jets (like Pittsburgh), I think Rex Ryan facing his old Jets team is definitely up there on the possibility list. It could even be one of the two Monday Night games opening weekend.'

Marker Fan excitement evident in Bills season ticket spike [1:58 AM] reports: '“Obviously with where we are right now at better than 52-thousand the franchise record is certainly within our sights,” said team President Russ Brandon. “There is a lot of work left to be done. We certainly have points coming up here with the draft, players coming back for OTAs and minicamps and the schedule release, which will be factors when fans consider their choices. We obviously have a great bundle of benefits that come with purchasing season tickets, starting with price and value so we’re certainly going to take a run at it.”'

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March 29, 2015

Marker Bills have few openings [12:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“I think we invigorated the offense,” General Manager Doug Whaley said. “We’ve set it up where we can go anywhere in the draft just about and be happy with who we get. Because, if you look at it, in the second and third round, those guys are going to contribute, but besides guard, there’s not too many starting positions open.'

Marker Back to being a hot ticket [12:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'With more than four months of selling to go, they have a realistic shot at beating the franchise record of 57,132 set in 1992, the third season of the Bills’ four-year Super Bowl run.'

Marker Bills alums team with sheriffs association for cancer awareness [12:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Ed Rutkowski, a former Bill and Erie County executive, is president of the Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation. The group was founded in 1999 and includes past Bills players who have left an imprint on society during their football careers and want to continue to help their community.'

Marker Don't let suspended blackout rule see light of day [12:56 AM]
Canandaigua Daily Messenger reports: 'While the goal was more people in the seats, the NFL’s blackout rule did a lot more harm than good in recent years. Loyal fans, many of whom went to games each fall, were shut out, while the Bills’ lack of TV time hindered the team’s quest for regional expansion, especially in places like central New York. It’s hard to promote a team that fans can’t see play each Sunday. Only the Bills Radio Network benefited.'

Marker 10 ways free agency made the Bills schedule more interesting [12:55 AM] reports: 'The outpouring of emotion from Philadelphia fans when LeSean McCoy was traded to Buffalo shows how the talented running back was valued in the “City of Brotherly Love.” McCoy will lead his new team to Lincoln Financial Field for just the second time in Bills franchise history. The Bills lost in their only other regular season appearance at “the Linc” in the season finale in 2007.'

March 27, 2015

Marker 2015 NFL Draft: Which prospects have the Buffalo Bills visited with? [1:59 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Here's a roundup of where the Bills have been and who they have visited with. This list will be updated leading up to draft night.'

March 26, 2015

Marker Bills’ moves have effect on others [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'However, the coach who might very well be the happiest with the recent acquisition of a former Bill is Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints. Payton couldn’t say enough good things about running back C.J. Spiller, whom the Saints signed as a free agent.'

Marker League won’t stand pat on point-after [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The issue is figuring out another way to attempt an extra point or go for a two-point conversion besides the one that has been in place for many years: lining up at the 2-yard line.'

Marker What a year for the Bills since the passing of Ralph Wilson [1:57 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'A roll call: Rex Ryan hired as coach, Jerry Hughes re-signed, LeSean McCoy and Matt Cassel acquired in trades, Richie Incognito, Jerome Felton, and Charles Clay brought aboard via free agency, ticket sales pacing at a near record level, widespread praise for the stadium renovation, and the franchise not only thriving under the new ownership of Terry and Kim Pegula, but safely secure right where it belongs, possibly for generations to come.'

Marker Good riddance, hopefully, to NFL blackouts on TV [1:57 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'It's not right that people who pay cable and satellite TV fees should be denied the local NFL game, because everybody is paying for it one way or the other. Yes, the NFL is the only sports league that offers its games over free network TV. But again, who still watches three channels with rabbit ears?'

Marker On anniversary of Ralph Wilson's death, Buffalo Bills announce plans for statue in his honor [1:56 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'The statue will be based on a photo of Wilson taken with Bills Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas on the sidelines of the Bills' 30-27 victory over the Jets in 1990. Wilson, who owned the Bills for 54 years, led the franchise to two American Football League Championships and four consecutive Super Bowls. His death led to an emotional year as the team transitioned to new ownership.'

Marker Rex Ryan, Terry Pegula discuss Bills' offseason at NFL owners meetings [1:55 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'The Bills are now left with the same offensive line as a year ago plus Incognito. Ryan mentioned the possibility of having Seantrel Henderson play left tackle and Cordy Glenn switch to right tackle, while Whaley expressed some level of optimism in guard Chris Williams, who is returning from injury. The Bills still have time to address the line, but Whaley clearly seems disappointed that Buffalo wasn't able to do more.'

Marker Bills to honor late owner Wilson with life-sized statue [1:54 AM]
AP reports: 'The decision to commemorate the team's founder and Pro Football Hall of Famer member was the brainchild of new Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula, and Wilson's widow, Mary, the team announced Wednesday. The statue will serve as a centerpiece in a newly established Founder's Plaza at Ralph Wilson Stadium.'

Marker One year after his passing, Bills announce plans for Ralph Wilson statue [1:53 AM]
WGR-AM reports: '"It just seems so fitting to honor Ralph with a statue in Founder’s Plaza, where fans will have the opportunity to interact and pose for photos. Ralph was so approachable and he absolutely loved the fans and he would have been honored and humbled to stand among them for all-time,” said Wilson. “I think everyone will appreciate the detail in the statue, even to the point that it replicates what Ralph wore to the stadium on game days, and I want to thank Terry and Kim Pegula for honoring Ralph in this special way.”'

Marker Bills to erect statue of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. [1:52 AM] reports: '“Mr. Wilson was an icon in both the professional football world and in the Western New York community,” said Bills Owner Kim Pegula. “This is our opportunity to honor his legacy and to allow our fans to share their gameday experience with the man who brought professional football to Buffalo.”'

Marker First impressions had Charles Clay sold on Buffalo [1:51 AM] reports: '“I felt I was one of their guys from the very second I stepped on the plane and just getting the chance to meet and talk with the Pegulas, they’re such down to earth people,” said Clay. “Just getting the chance to meet with them and to fly up with Rex (Ryan) and Greg Roman and Tony Sparano Jr. and just having the chance to talk with them, I was very impressed. They had me excited on the plane before I even got to Buffalo. I was about ready to sign before I even got there, so I was very excited.”'

March 25, 2015

Marker The Forgotten Fan [7:09 AM]
Bills Daily reports: 'So my plea to the NFL is this - respect me. I know I'm not a multi-million dollar sponsor of the league like a beer or car company, I'm not a guy who has a luxury box at the stadium, I'm not even a season ticket holder, but I am a guy who spends more on the NFL than most. I don't expect to be treated like a VIP, but in the grand scheme of things I am important to the NFL economy - without people like me your TV audience is comprised of people who watch for free and make large distribution contracts difficult if not impossible. If I pay for content on Sunday Ticket I expect to be able to see my games - ALL of my Sunday games - on something better than a low resolution, overmaxed video stream. Respect me as a fan that cares more than most and contributes monetarily more than most. If you take fans like me for granted you're losing some of your best, and we both deserve better than that.'

Marker Bills’ offensive line has some question marks [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“To put it bluntly, everybody’s celebrating our victories, but we’ve had some losses in this free agency” period “and it happened to be on the offensive line,” General Manager Doug Whaley said Tuesday during the NFL meeting here. “We had targeted two guys, and we just couldn’t get them. Unfortunately for us, it looks like we didn’t try, but we did try and just weren’t successful.”'

Marker Pegula says early plan fed Buffalo Bills offseason success [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“I went out to dinner with LeSean McCoy and his mom and dad, brother,” he said. “I took my two kids with me; my wife, Kim, was out of town. When the news of the trade first broke, he was obviously shocked and the rumors were floating around he wasn’t happy” with the trade to Buffalo. “Well, when I shook his hand, he was commenting on the fact that he was shocked that he was traded. I said, ‘You were shocked? We were more shocked than you were. We obviously could use some help in our backfield’ and getting McCoy ‘was like filling up the Grand Canyon.’ ”'

Marker Clay was impressed by Bills’ recruiting process [1:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“It was huge. It goes to show how much they actually value me,” Clay said Tuesday, speaking with Western New York reporters on a conference call. “I felt like I was one of those guys from the very second I stepped on the plane. Just getting the chance to meet and talk with the Pegulas, such down-to-earth people."'

Marker Bills spurn offer to be on HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ [1:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The source also said that the decision to reject the opportunity was made by team co-owners Terry and Kim Pegula.'

Marker Obama should drop proposal to ban tax-exempt financing for new stadiums [1:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Obama administration makes the argument that tax-exempt bond financing should be for the public good and not for private-sector owners of professional sports teams. We agree. Except that there is a public benefit from such financing.'

Marker Clay says versatility is key to his game [1:53 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“From the time I stepped on the plane, I felt like I was one of those guys,” Clay said of the private jet owners Terry and Kim Pegula escorted him in from Miami to Buffalo and back. “Getting the chance to meet and talk to the Pegulas, down to earth people, and to meet them and fly up with Rex (Ryan) and Greg Roman, Tony Sparano Jr., I was very impressed. They had me excited when I was on the plane. It goes to show how much they actually value me.”'

Marker Bills, Browns to share practices at Fisher [1:52 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"I think that ratchets up the competitive juices," Pettine said when asked at the AFC coaches breakfast Tuesday about the shared practices.'

Marker Why Charles Clay wanted to sign with the Bills before setting foot in Buffalo [1:51 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: '"It goes to show how much they actually value me," Clay said. "... I felt like I was one of those guys from the very second I stepped on the plane. Just getting the chance to meet and talk with the Pegulas, such down to earth people."'

Marker Breaking down Charles Clay's contract, cap hits with Buffalo Bills [1:50 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'In terms of what Clay will cost the Bills against the salary cap, the tight end carries a $5 million cap hit in 2015, $13.5 million cap hit in 2016 and cap hits of $6.5 million from 2017 through 2019. The Bills would be able to lower Clay's 2016 cap hit by converting his $10 million roster bonus into a signing bonus, which would spread the cap hit over the rest of the contract. Buffalo also included a no-trade clause for the first three seasons of Clay's deal.'

Marker Buffalo Bills' trade for LeSean McCoy reportedly took just 30 minutes; Rex Ryan views McCoy as [1:49 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'It seems the Bills' trade of star linebacker Kiko Alonso for McCoy was as much a surprise to them as it was the rest of the league. Ryan said the Bills were "stunned" to learn McCoy was available and jumped at the opportunity to acquire him. McCoy was the first piece of the Bills' offseason puzzle, and Ryan said he made it easier to bring in free agents.'

Marker Rex Ryan says he'll learn Bryce Brown's name when the Bills' RB 'learns to hold [1:48 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'With a backfield that includes McCoy, veteran Fred Jackson and short-yardage specialist Anthony Dixon, Brown may not have much of a role in Buffalo this season. A ball control, ground-and-pound offense like the Bills have can't afford to have a running back with ball security issues. Brown still has to earn the trust of his new coach.'

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