Courting Mr. Butler [8:29 PM]
Fox Sports reports: '"It's been said I was looking to get out," said Butler, "but that's totally incorrect. My contract expired Feb. 28; two days later free agency starts. Most clubs have to have people in place and prepared the minute free agency opens. There wasn't going to be any type of advantage for me."'
The secret diaries of Doug Flutie: I'm short and I'm good [1:52 PM]
St. Catharines Standard reports: 'Arrogant. Can you believe that? I know I'm good. I know I'm pretty. And, OK, maybe I shouldn't have told all that stuff to that Sports Illustrated guy about Mushhead (Mushhead -- heh, heh, heh, I kinda like that one), but that doesn't mean I'm arrogant.'
Wilson ups the ante on performance [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's always been my practice just to go out and play no matter what," linebacker John Holecek said. "But, obviously, when you have something like this, you have the added pressure, people are going to be looking over their shoulders. And damn right they should be playing hard."'
Wilson's ax just might swing again [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'One thing Wade is advised not to do on the flight to Seattle or the return trip to Buffalo is make a goal-line stand to keep his coaching staff intact.'
Phillips says strong finish still the goal [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We play to win. That's what we've done all along, and that's what we're going to do this week."'
Sacking the general manager [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'With a San Diego job reportedly his for the asking and his stock extremely high in football circles, who can blame Butler for wanting to test the post-season market to see what he's worth? It's not a good idea, though, to ignore the boss.'
One more song for Flutie [7:47 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'With the John Butler era in Buffalo officially over, the final chapter of the Doug Flutie saga might soon be written as well.'
Phillips dances the soft shoe [7:46 AM]
Toronto Star reports: '"My focus this week is on this ballgame," said Phillips, who is rumoured to be next in line for owner Ralph Wilson Jr.'s axe after Buffalo wraps up the regular season in Seattle on Saturday night at Husky Stadium.'
Bills have tough road to victory [6:41 AM]
Seattle Times reports: 'They are traveling cross country to play the Seahawks in a game that has none of the meaning Phillips had hoped it would have. But jobs for 2001, including his, are at risk.'
'If I can't hire you, I'll fire you' [6:36 AM]
CNN/SI reports: 'But the facts are these: Wilson's contract offers weren't competitive.'
'Tis the season to be jittery [6:32 AM]
D and C reports: 'Now that he's going [to Seattle this weekend], rumors are running rampant that Wilson may decide -- based on what happens in Seattle -- Phillips' future this weekend.'
A Levy-Butler reunion not far-fetched [6:31 AM]
D and C reports: '"I had an excellent working relationship with John, just as I had a great working relationship with his predecessor, Bill Polian," Levy said when asked about that scenario. "I have great regard for John. Yes, that would be a desirable situation, but I don't even want to speculate about that."'
Bills' new GM faces major problems with cap, offense [6:29 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills reportedly will be $11 million over the adjusted salary cap for 2001 and will have to pay big money to retain free agents Eric Moulds and Marcellus Wiley. The team will have to cut several high-priced veterans and is unlikely to have any money to attract any significant free agents.'
Butler interested if Chargers hire a GM [6:29 AM]
AP reports: 'When asked about the speculation that he would be courted by other teams, specifically the Chargers, Butler said: "I didn't even have a chance to think about anything besides the Buffalo Bills. They were my team for 14 years."'
Butler's dismissal raises serious questions for Bills [6:27 AM]
AP reports: 'A month ago, the Bills were 7-4 and in the thick of the playoff hunt. They've since lost four straight for the first time in 15 years, been decimated by injuries, and are playing out the season in a mean-nothing game at Seattle.'
Buffaloed [10:44 PM]
ESPNet reports: 'After four Super Bowls, 15 seasons and 941 catches in Buffalo, this is what the once-magical hands of Andre Reed have been reduced to. And each time a picture of Reed in a Bills uniform slides into his hand, it seems to make him a little sad.'
Is Butler on call for Chargers' GM job? [1:32 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Chargers president Dean Spanos has said he would consider hiring a new general manager if the right man became available. That might have happened yesterday.'
Bills' ex-boss has large appetite for winning [1:31 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '"He had heard the Chargers were holding a job open for Butler," said the source, "and when Ralph gets ticked off, he lashes out."'
Butler won't be easily replaced [1:29 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'The owner, two more losses removed from those comments, conceded, "As far as Wade and the coaching staff is concerned, I'm here to talk about John Butler ... so I'd rather not comment." That's hardly a vote of confidence.'
Butler Has An Extra Week To Explore His Options [1:27 PM]
Jamestown Post Journal reports: 'Put it this way: The 82-year-old Wilson isn't planning to take a cross-country flight on Christmas weekend to do sightseeing in the Pacific Northwest. The one thing he is going to take careful notice of, though, is the effort of the players.'
Butler's Firing All About Timing [11:09 AM]
Buffalo Post reports: 'With the San Diego Chargers poised to make Butler an offer he couldn't refuse, and Wilson wouldn't match ... something had to be done as soon as
Butler gets the boot [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Mr. Wilson is a shrewd businessman, and I think he wanted to sever ties with John Butler before he hit the open market. This way Wilson doesn't come off looking as though he couldn't compete."'
Contract flap leads Wilson to oust GM [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'And it was clear from Wilson's description of events that Butler was not impressed enough by the contract offer the owner made in the past week.'
Butler had long string of success stories [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Butler, considered among NFL's elite personnel minds, broke into the pros after legendary coach George Allen read a newspaper clipping about a part-time University of Evansville assistant who worked nights at a 7-Eleven to pay the bills.'
Ralph's rush to judgment a sad spectacle [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He's 54 years old. He's widely regarded as the best GM on the market. This figures to be the contract of his life. You can't blame him for wanting to get the best deal out there.'
Bills GM gets a present [7:04 AM]
National Post reports: 'By contrast, Butler used to start his day by chipping ice off the windshield and maybe listening to Ann Burke on the way to One Bills Drive.'
Impatient Bills fire GM Butler [6:35 AM]
D and C reports: '"The reason for the dismissal is because John has refused to give me an answer as to his future intentions," Wilson said. "The time has come to move forward, and therefore I can wait no longer to see who will be the Bills' general manager after this season."'
Bills owner decides Butler not interested [6:34 AM]
D and C reports: 'With a new season to plan for and no time to waste, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson said he couldn't wait for an answer from John Butler any longer.'
Bills lose friend, not just GM [6:34 AM]
D and C reports: 'Agents reacted with shock. Butler was synonymous with the Bills and they said he bled for the team.'
Smith, Adams have an inside shot [6:32 AM]
D and C reports: 'Long-time personnel men A.J. Smith and Dwight Adams are among the leading candidates to replace the fired John Butler as general manager of the Buffalo Bills.'
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