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Buffalo Bills News - March 2, 2004

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."'

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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.'

Marker Bills release Pro Bowl guard Brown [1:04 PM]
AP reports: 'Brown was due to receiver a $1.8 million bonus had he been on roster Wednesday, the first day of free agency. He also was due for a base salary of $2.7 million this season.'

Marker Dallas reportedly interested in quarterback [12:57 PM]
ESPN reports: Despite reports claiming Henson will also audition for Buffalo, team president Tom Donahoe told ESPN.com that he will not arrange for an individual workout unless he is convinced a contract agreement can be reached. Donahoe remains doubtful on that front. Agent Tom Condon also told ESPN.com that he doesn't think the Bills will request a Henson workout.

Marker Released [12:54 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Buffalo Bills have decided to part ways with eight-time Pro Bowl guard Ruben Brown, ending the tenure of one of the franchise's most recognizable offensive lineman. Originally drafted by the Bills in the first round (14th overall) of the 1995 draft, the former Pittsburgh All-American played and started in 136 games and has been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of the last eight seasons, an accomplishment no other Bill can claim.

Marker Restricted Free Agents Getting More Protection [8:50 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Buffalo could have offered Tucker a one-year minimum tender ($628K), but it would have offered no protection against losing him to another team. The minimum tender only demands that another team that signs him away from Buffalo compensate the Bills with a draft pick equal to the round in which Tucker was drafted. Tucker, however, was an undrafted free agent coming out of college, so there would have been no compensation.'

Marker Buffalo fans in middle of frustration formula [5:16 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'The Bills are 34th with a frustration index of 2.95. And the Sabres, with a score of 2.12, rank 98th. That makes them Buffalo's least frustrating team, despite their weak performance in recent seasons.'

Marker Inside slant [5:15 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills will start free agency with about $7.8 million in cap space but that figure will fluctuate greatly. Off the bat, the team must decide if it wants to retain eight-time Pro Bowl guard Ruben Brown, who is due a $1.8 million roster bonus that will have to be accounted for.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [5:14 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills aren't being bashful about their interest in NC State quarterback Philip Rivers, one of the fastest rising players in the draft. Buffalo is in the market for Drew Bledsoe's eventual successor and taking a quarterback with its 13th pick is being heavily considered.'

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [5:13 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Coach Mike Mularkey recently sat down with Brown to discuss his future with the club. Part of the conversation addressed Brown's falling out with the previous coaching staff. Brown was excused from the final game of the season at New England after arriving late for a practice and having a confrontation with offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.'

February 29, 2004

Marker QB's contract demands could be deal breaker [12:06 PM]
ESPN reports: 'For now, trading for Drew Henson remains a possibility for the Bills. But the more Buffalo explores ways to acquire Henson from the Texans, the more difficult a deal appears.'

Marker Draft pick No. 13 just got luckier for Bills [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Tom Donahoe and Tom Modrak haven't missed on many drafts during their careers as president/general manager/college scouting gurus, so we have to believe they will make the right choice. The good news for the Bills is there won't be any wrong choices at No. 13. The Bills' needs are specific - quarterback, speed at wide receiver, interior offensive line, cornerback (if Antoine Winfield doesn't return), pass-rushing defensive end and tight end.'

Marker Time to talk shop as free agency set to open [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Winfield said he'd like to return to Buffalo, but the Bills won't get into a bidding war. His bargaining power improved last week when some of the top free agent cornerbacks were either franchised (Oakland's Charles Woodson and Baltimore's Chris McAllister) or put on the trading block (Washington's Champ Bailey).'

Marker McNally still getting a line on players [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"No. 1 is "smarts,' " he said. "I want players with football intelligence. If I'm told a player needs a lot of repetitions to get things right I'm not interested. The NFL is far different today than what it used to be. Defenses are so sophisticated now it's like looking into a box of coat hangers for linemen deciding what to do on a blitz."'

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