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Buffalo Bills News - March 3, 2004

Marker Bills set for free agency [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“Our roster is in a different position and our cap is different,” Donahoe said. “Last year, we needed a lot of bodies, particularly on defense, and we still need some players. But the difference is that we have some good players on our team and we have some players who we think — that with different coaching — can get even better. Are we going to be involved in free agency? We will, but probably not to the same degree as last year.”'

Marker OL Sullivan re-signs with Bills [5:15 AM]
AP reports: 'Sullivan's best season came in 2002, when he started all 16 games at right guard. But he lost his starting job to Mike Pucillo in training camp and the Bills tried converting Sullivan into a tackle.'

Marker Sullivan Signs And Free Agency Begins [5:14 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'He started four games last season at left tackle after spending the 2002 season as a starter at right guard.'

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March 2, 2004

Marker Bills Should Benefit From Williams' Draft Decision [4:59 PM]
NFLPlayers.com reports: 'Southern Cal defensive end Kenechi Udeze or Ohio State defensive end Will Smith would be a solid pick. The Bills ranked ninth in the NFL in sacks a year ago, but they need a better pass-rushing defensive lineman to complement Aaron Schobel.'

Marker Donahoe ready for free-agency period to begin [4:53 PM]
AP reports: 'The Bills will not re-sign any of their unrestricted free agents before Wednesday. Besides Winfield, that group includes fullback Sam Gash and running back and special teams captain Sammy Morris.'

Marker Signed: Marques Sullivan [4:46 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Bills choose to lock restricted free agent Marques Sullivan up long term by signing him to a multi-year deal and preventing any other team from even making an offer to him. Sullivan, who started all 16 games for the Bills at right guard in 2002, is expected to be in the mix to replace Ruben Brown at left guard. "Marques started here for a year and played pretty well two years ago," Tom Donahoe said on Monday.

Marker Ruben's guarded respect factor [10:17 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'Personally, and just out of curiosity, I’ve checked game tapes a few times just to see what the fuss was about, and found #79 to be even better than I’d even thought. He’s always been a solid run blocker, but his pass protection has improved a great deal over time, as he’s even shed weight to help his quickness.'

Marker Brown says he's sad to leave Bills [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I plan to continue to raise my family in Orchard Park and continue the charitable activities of which I have made so many friends," Brown said.'

Marker Bills say Brown gone, Winfield going [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Bills President and General Manger Tom Donahoe said Monday he is resigned to losing Winfield to another club.'

Marker Brown takes his turn to bid adieu [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Ultimately, they cut him for a simple reason: They didn't think he was good enough.'

Marker Bills Set Offseason Camps [8:44 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The Buffalo Bills announced a list of important dates for their offseason camps.'

Marker Bills Release Eight-Time Pro Bowler Brown [6:55 AM]
Reuters reports: 'Brown's status with the club has been up in the air since he was "excused" from playing the final game of the season at New England, with no reason being given by the team. Brown has said that he missed the game for disciplinary reasons after he had a disagreement over offensive philosophy with the team's former coaching staff.'

Marker End of line for Brown with Bills [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Ultimately, though, Mularkey and new line coach Jim McNally made a determination that Brown’s play had slipped, and despite his leadership and team-record eight consecutive Pro Bowl trips, he did not fit into their plans.'

Marker Deal for Henson not looking good [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“I basically told him what our position would be, and if they are interested in our position, we can talk further, and if they’re not, maybe somebody will be interested in his position,” Donahoe said.'

Marker Bills expecting Winfield to say bye-bye [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“Here’s my feeling on it: When you approach somebody to talk with them about a contract and they have no interest, it’s usually a pretty good sign they want to go somewhere else.”'

Marker Brown ends stay in Buffalo a bit underrated [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Ruben wasn’t eight Pro Bowls good; we all knew that. But he wasn’t as hapless as his worst critics suggested. He was flagged too often and the team surrendered way too many sacks, but it was no easy task pass protecting for the likes of Rob Johnson and Drew Bledsoe.'

Marker Cowboys, Bills show interest in Texans' Henson [5:14 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: '"We saw the workout (in Houston). We had more people at the workout than anybody else in the league. We know what his abilities are. It appears there would be a lot of hoops you'd have to jump through to do the contract. Right now, from what we've heard, we wouldn't be comfortable with it. I just had a talk (Monday) morning with Tom and told him what our position would be. If they're interested in our position, we can talk further."'

March 1, 2004

Marker Bills Release Ruben Brown [8:35 PM]
RNews.com reports: 'Brown, who played in his eighth straight Pro Bowl last month, says he will continue to live and raise his family in Orchard Park. He thanked the fans for what he called "some of the happiest years of my life."'

Marker Bills Part Ways With Guard Ruben Brown [8:34 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Donahoe said the decision to release Brown was based on a number of factors and that to single out one area - his playing ability, absence from the final game, or the effect on the salary cap - would be incorrect. "I think the coaches did a very thorough job of talking about it and analyzing it and based on the fact that it was a new staff and we are trying to go in a different direction this might be the best decision to make," Donahoe said.'

Marker Q&A Session With Bills GM Tom Donahoe [8:33 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"We have released Ruben. We talked to him this morning. Coach (Mike) Mularkey spoke to him and indicated that we have decided to go in a different direction. Publicly I'd like to thank Ruben for all that he has done for the Buffalo Bills, things that he's done on the field and off the field. I believe that our staff felt that coming in we wanted to go in a different direction. It's probably best for both parties."'

Marker Bills interest in Henson cooling [8:32 PM]
AP reports: '''We still have interest in Drew Henson, but we still have not been shown a way to do a contract that would make us comfortable,'' Donahoe said. ''And until we can be shown that, it really doesn't serve any purpose to bring him in (for a workout).'''

Marker NFL teams will seek value, not stars, in free agency this year [8:00 PM]
CNN/SI reports: Buffalo cornerback Antoine Winfield (my guess: Cincinnati, which will throw more money at a quality cornerback than any other team).

Marker Bills Wallpaper [7:59 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: This month's wallpaper by TBD Alumni 'Moose' is starting DE Aaron Schobel (#94).

Marker Bills release Pro Bowl G Brown [4:10 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'However, the move allows the Bills to save more than $4 million. Brown was due to make $2.7 million in 2004 and would have received a $1.8 million bonus if he was still on the Bills' roster Wednesday, the first day of free agency.'

Marker Ruben Brown's Comments on Being Released [4:02 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'I know there were questions surrounding the way the season ended last year and I have chosen to keep those issues personal. Many of those issues have been resolved and my life has moved on from that point.'

Marker Bills Tender Contracts To Free Agents [3:45 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'By tendering offers on the team's Restricted Free Agents (RFA) - a player who just finished his third season in the league and his contract is about to expire - the Bills will be given draft-round compensation should the players sign elsewhere.'

Marker 2004 NFL Free Agency Questions & Answers [3:45 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The salary cap is the maximum each club may spend on player salaries in a capped year. For 2004, that amounts to 64.75 percent of leaguewide "Defined Gross Revenues" (divided by 32 teams), made up of preseason, regular-season and postseason gate receipts and radio and television rights. The cap is in effect 365 days a year. From March 3 to the day before the season begins, a club's top 51 salaried players count towards the cap, plus pro-rated signing bonuses, incentives, etc., but not base salaries of other players on the roster up to 80. Thereafter, all salaries on a club's roster count towards the cap. The maximum salary cap for 2004 is $80,582,000 per club. The minimum club salary is $67,337,000. Player benefits are $12,865,000 per club above the salary cap number.'

Marker Bills release guard Ruben Brown [1:08 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Brown, who missed only eight games in nine seasons, started 15 games last year before being excused by the team from playing in the season finale against the New England Patriots last December.'

Marker Bills cut Ruben Brown [1:05 PM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“He’s played at good level for a long period of time. He’s been on the leaders on our team,” Donahoe said. “It just boils down to when you have a new staff come in there are changes that are inevitable. Ruben won’t be the only change as we move forward, but he obviously is a significant chance for what he did here.”'

Marker Bills Cut Ties With Popular Pro Bowler [1:05 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Brown came under fire after he missed Buffalo's regular season finale against New England. The team had excused him from playing after he had spoken out against then-offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.'

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