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Buffalo Bills News - April 19, 2002

Marker Blake doesn't believe he's Bills' answer at QB [1:28 PM]
AP reports: 'After being briefly courted by Buffalo, Blake has moved on while the Bills continue their bid to trade for New England's Drew Bledsoe, Blake's agent, Ralph Cindrich said, on Friday.'

Marker NFL still can't measure players' head, heart [1:28 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Since Bill Polian took over as Bills' general manager before the 1986 draft, Buffalo has been one of the NFL's most successful teams in the player lottery.'

Marker Harrington's fate may decide Bledsoe's future [1:26 PM]
MSNBC reports: 'The general consensus is that market is limited to Buffalo and Cincinnati, but what if the Carolina Panthers decide at the last minute that they can’t win with a sore-armed Chris Weinke? What if the Detroit Lions come to their senses and take Harrington with the third pick instead of grabbing a defensive player such as Quentin Jammer or Julius Peppers?'

Marker Help wanted [1:25 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'The Bills will not be a contender in 2002, but could be in 2003 if they have a solid draft. Getting Bledsoe would move them up a lot faster.'

Marker What to do with Drew? [1:24 PM]
Worcester Telegram and Gazette reports: 'The Bills have the fourth overall pick in the draft, but, according to the report, are unlikely to part with that to get Bledsoe. Whether the Patriots would settle for less for the former franchise QB remains to be seen.'

Marker Much Ado about Drew [1:23 PM]
Buffalo Bills reports: Officail statement form the bills regarding possible trade

Marker Bills Release Statement About Bledsoe [1:22 PM] reports: The speculation and misinformation concerning the Bills and QB Drew Bledsoe continues to run rampant throughout Western New York and beyond.

Marker Bills continue to zero in on Bledsoe [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'If a deal for Bledsoe falls through, the Bills likely would go back to free agent quarterback Jeff Blake, the former New Orleans backup, and see if he will accept a contract offer Saturday.'

Marker Bills make serious bid to acquire Bledsoe [5:32 AM]
D and C reports: 'In short, the Bills could have the 30-year-old Bledsoe for three years at $16.5 million -- a bargain given his talent and the cost of top-notch quarterbacks these days -- before making a decision on what to do after 2004.'

Marker Donahoe has chance to become area hero [5:31 AM]
D and C reports: 'Think about it. The Bills get Bledsoe, a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback, who at age 30 has plenty of life left in his football career. A legitimate talent capable of masking other deficiencies on the team, who puts the club's rebuilding project way ahead of schedule. The Bills give up a third-round pick (they have two in that round anyway), retain their coveted No. 4 pick overall in the first round, and their second-rounder (No. 36). This is purchasing a nice used Cadillac with Yugo money.'

Marker Bills talk with defensive end [5:30 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Buffalo Bills have begun preliminary contract talks with free agent defensive end Chidi Ahanotu, who visited the team on Thursday. Ahanotu, a nine-year veteran, was not re-signed by St. Louis after completing a one-year, $600,000 deal last season.'

Marker Bledsoe, draft on Bills' mind [5:30 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'The deal maker or breaker likely hinges upon whether Donahoe bends on his desire to protect the treasured No. 4 pick or the Pats lighten demand for that first-rounder.'

Marker Demands remain the same [5:29 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'There were several radio and TV reports that Bledsoe was on his way to Buffalo last night and had a reservation at a Buffalo hotel. But at 4:30 p.m. EST yesterday, Bledsoe told the Globe he was on a Montana golf course and had no idea about where the reports were coming from.'

Marker Bledsoe deal heats up [5:28 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'The Patriots have not granted Bledsoe or his representatives permission to talk to other teams, and any arrangement on the part of the Bills to bring Bledsoe in to Buffalo before an official trade would amount to tampering. Bills officials would like to talk to Bledsoe to gauge his interest, but they are not allowed to.'

Marker Trust in Bill to Drew the right thing [5:27 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '[Bledsoe] doesn't trust Bill [Belichick], doesn't like him, doesn't want to play for him. He felt the coach was not straight with him when he returned from his injury last season, but kept his mouth shut and dutifully manned the clipboard. He could have been a huge distraction, but unlike Terry Glenn, he chose not to be.'

Marker Forget the rumors, Bledsoe is still a Patriot -- for now [5:25 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'But more and more it's becoming clear that the asking price for Bledsoe isn't "make an offer" but "first-round pick. Firm." So if Donahoe wants him, he knows what it will take. The Bills right now have the cap space necessary ($5 million) to bring in Bledsoe. Soon, they will not. Nor will many other teams. Which means if Bledsoe is going to get traded, a new dynamic enters the picture -- the need to restructure Bledsoe's deal before moving him. That would give the quarterback leverage that he doesn't have right now.'

Marker Cold reception for Bledsoe in Buffalo? [5:24 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: '"Buffalo's pretty much known as the worst weather city, with the cold and the wind," said Tom Tupa, the former Patriots QB/punter who has played in the AFC East since 1996. "As a quarterback, you have to have a pretty strong arm to play there, and Drew has that. He definitely has the skills a quarterback needs to have there."'

Marker Bledsoe To Bills Looks Like Deal [5:23 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'Several weeks ago, the Bills offered the Patriots a third-round draft choice in the draft and a conditional pick in 2003 based on Bledsoe's 2002 performance. But the Patriots, who have been holding out for a No. 1 pick in exchange for Bledsoe, turned that down. The Bills are adamant about holding on to their No. 1 pick, but if they are willing to trade their second-round pick (36th overall) for Bledsoe, plus a conditional pick in 2003 that could be a No. 1, a deal might get done today.'

Marker Pats Play Risky Game With Drew's Loyalty [5:22 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'The Patriots must deal Drew Bledsoe today or Saturday - draft day - or they will run the risk of ruining the chemistry that made the team a Super Bowl champion. That's the bottom line.'

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April 18, 2002

Marker Interview Transcript: - Charlie Rogers [10:44 PM] reports: One of the highlights of your career is the 81-yard punt return against (Ronnie Jones led Special Teams of) the Bills in 2000. Have you thought about that at all while you were here?

I thought about that when we (Seattle) came back last year. I was hurt. That was one of my first games coming off my injury and I thought I would come back and just do it again but the coverage teams played well. Obviously they made a big improvement and hopefully we can improve the return game and step the elite of the return teams in the NFL.

Marker Bills open talks with free agent DE Ahanotu [10:07 PM]
AP reports: 'The Buffalo Bills have begun preliminary contract talks with free agent defensive end Chidi Ahanotu, who visited the team on Thursday. Ahanotu is a nine-year veteran, who was not re-signed by the St. Louis Rams after completing a one-year, $600,000 deal last season.'

Marker Wilson praises Donahoe; mum on Bills interest in Bledsoe [10:05 PM]
AP reports: '"My father used to say, and this characterizes Tom Donahoe, (hard work) is 98 percent perspiration, and two percent inspiration," Wilson said on Thursday, after traveling from his Florida home to help take part in this weekend's NFL draft.'

Marker Bledsoe to Bills by Friday [10:04 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: It appears that a deal to send Drew Bledsoe to the Bills will get done by Friday, sources close to the negotiations said.

Even bigger than the additional draft pick for the Patriots (or improved draft position) would be the enormous clearing of salary cap space.

Marker Bledsoe to Bills talks heating up [10:04 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'Just how big would a Bledsoe acquisition be for the Bills? Just shy of the size of the splash made when Jim Kelly arrived back in 1986. Bledsoe, a former #1 pick like Kelly, would give the Bills instant credibility coming off their sorry 3-13 season.'

Marker Bills Face Gutsy Pick [10:01 PM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'He will get the biggest rookie contract in Bills history..that's a given, so it puts huge pressure on the selection. Whether it's Mckinnie, Williams, Sims, Harrington, or someone else the Bills Brass deems worthy of that selection, they know whatever the name, he will need to be a household name in Buffalo for the next decade.'

Marker Bills Upgrade With Accuracy At Kicker [9:58 PM] reports: The Bills officially announced the team has signed veteran place-kicker Mike Hollis. The immediate upgrade will translate to more points on the board for the Bills. Hollis comes to the Bills as the sixth most accurate kicker in NFL history.

Marker Bills-Pats Trade Talks for Bledsoe Heating Up [3:00 PM] reports: "The Bills "really believe they're going to get (Bledsoe) now" one league source told [Donahoe's] rationale has been that the Bills have had the best offer on the table, believed to be a third-rounder, and that the Patriots have no other serious bidders. Faced with the prospect that Bledsoe will not report to training camp, New England may now be prepared to reduce its demands." (Aside: You have to think that this means the Bills will be grabbing an OT with the first overall pick if this goes down.)

Marker BUMP: Bills will trade, go for Roy Williams or DT [2:33 PM]
Shout! reports: @ As Wednesday dawned, the draft was barely three days away. That's 72 hours, give or take, but do we really know any more about what the Bills might do with their first-round draft pick than we did 72 days ago?

Marker Bills still splashing in free agent pool [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We have some young guys we like a lot, but we were almost in a situation last year where we had too many young guys.'

Marker Bills in line to make big pick [5:38 AM]
D and C reports: 'One thing we do know: If the Bills don't trade down, or don't include their first-round draft position in a potential deal for New England quarterback Drew Bledsoe, they are going to land a whale of a football player with that fourth overall selection.'

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