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Buffalo Bills News - April 27, 2004

Marker Everybody had a grade-A draft, right down to the hundredths of a second [11:22 PM] reports: Buffalo: A-. Sports commentators said J. P. Losman was the first first-round quarterback Buffalo has taken since Jim Kelly in 1983. But since that time, the Bills twice have traded No. 1 picks for quarterbacks: Rob Johnson and Drew Bledsoe. Thus, Losman really isn't the franchise's first first-round try since Kelly, though obviously anything that rubs a little "Jim Kelly" onto the gentleman is highly welcome.

Marker Bills' Bledsoe Takes Pay Cut After Team Drafts Losman [11:19 PM]
Bloomberg reports: 'Bledsoe, 32, said he agreed to rework his contract to give the team flexibility to sign other players and provide stability at quarterback for several years. ``I decided that what was in the best interests of the organization and ballclub was also in my best interest,'' Bledsoe said at the news conference. ``At this stage in my life, let's face it, having a little extra money isn't going to make that big of a difference.'''

Marker Bledsoe agrees to restructure contract [11:18 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Bledsoe had seven years left on his previous contract and was due to earn a multi-million dollar bonus in November. He was scheduled to make a base salary of $5.9 million next year.'

Marker Buffalo Bills 2004 Draft Report Card [11:17 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Sports Network Draft Grade: C.'

Marker Transcript: Tom Donahoe Press Conference [11:16 PM] reports: 'It was probably initially started as much by Drew as it was by the organization. Drew had come to me on a couple of occasions and said that if there was ever anything he could do with his contract that would help the team, he would be interested in looking at it. We began to pursue it to see if there was a way to do it that made sense for both sides. We want to be fair to Drew. He is our starting quarterback. We recognize what he has done here and what he has done in his career. We need to be sensitive to that. We also recognize where his cap figure was headed. It makes it very difficult to give you, as a team, flexibility to do some other things. I have to applaud Drew for his efforts and his encouragement for us to try to do this. All you have to do is look around the league right now. Take a look in Pittsburgh and New York. See what's going on with some veteran quarterbacks. It makes you appreciate what we have here in Buffalo and how much of a team player Drew Bledsoe is.'

Marker Bledsoe Puts Team First By Re-Negotiating [11:16 PM] reports: 'Somewhere in Venice, California, Buffalo's newest quarterback J.P. Losman is taking notes.'

Marker Transcript: Drew Bledsoe Conference Call [11:15 PM] reports: It very quickly became apparent to me that the economic side was going to have to take a back seat to my desires to do whatever I had to do to help the team win.

Marker Bills Re-Negotiate Bledsoe's Contract [1:29 PM] reports: 'In accordance with club policy, terms were not disclosed.'

Marker Drew Bledsoe Has A New Deal [1:27 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Bledsoe was scheduled to get just over eight million dollars this season against the cap. His salary would've been 5.9-million dollars.'

Marker Andrews legend Williams Buffalo-bound [1:25 PM]
Odessa American reports: 'Williams had a roller-coaster collegiate career that featured two different schools and total of five different head coaches.'

Marker Bledsoe's contract renegotiated with Bills [1:24 PM]
AP reports: 'Bledsoe's had seven years left on his old deal, and was due a $7 million bonus had he still been on the Bills roster in November. He was scheduled to make a base salary of $5.9 million this season, a figure that would balloon to $12 million in 2008.'

Marker Itís too early to assess Billsí draft [1:12 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Consider this, the only Buffalo Billsí draftee on the roster picked before 2001 is 1996 first-rounder Eric Moulds.'

Marker Bills avoid having to pay large bonus [12:41 PM]
ESPN reports: The Buffalo Bills have reached an agreement with QB Drew Bledsoe to restructure his contract, two league sources confirmed for on Tuesday. The new deal will preclude the Bills from having to pay Bledsoe, coming off one of the poorest seasons of his career, an exorbitant option bonus in November to retain him. More important, from a football standpoint, it will almost certainly keep the 11-year veteran in Buffalo beyond the coming season and eases the urgency for the Bills to prepare rookie Losman to be the starter in 2005.

Marker UB's Graham among 18 free agents [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'One of them is safety Mark Graham, a second-team All-Mid-American Conference selection who led the University at Buffalo in tackles (84) and sacks (three) despite missing two games with injury.'

Marker Gray doesn't take offense to Bills' draft plan [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I think we got a lot better last year and we still played with a lot of young guys," Gray said Monday. "Those guys are going to be better with experience and the older guys will be more comfortable with another year in our system. We lost (cornerback) Antoine (Winfield) and picked up Troy Vincent, so we evened up there. To me, we're in pretty good shape."'

Marker Bills add 18 undrafted college free agents [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Peters, 6-feet-4, 336 pounds, was among the top five tight ends after catching 21 passes for 218 yards and four touchdowns as a junior. But while he caught the ball well at the scouting combine, NFL scouts said his best upside was playing left tackle given his lack of decent speed and his struggles beating coverage.'

Marker Three former WCU football players head for NFL [5:17 AM]
Asheville Citizen Times reports: 'A defensive end, Spicer tackled more opponents behind the line of scrimmage (58) than anyone in WCU history. "Buffalo didn't draft any defensive ends," said Spicer, who leaves for mini-camp Thursday. "We feel like I've got a great chance to make the team."'

Marker Buffalo drafts UM offensive tackle McFarland in seventh round [5:16 AM]
Missoula Missoulian reports: '"I don't know much, other than they didn't draft any other offensive linemen,'' McFarland said. "That's a great deal for me. There is a huge opportunity there, and there is definitely a spot for me.'''

Marker Lawton, Miller sign deals [5:15 AM]
Lafayette Advertiser reports: 'Lawton was the top rushing/pass receiving fullback in the SLC last year, running for 264 yards and four touchdowns and catching 19 passes for 134 yards and two scores.'

Marker Bills sign Shaud Williams [5:14 AM]
Birmingham News reports: 'He signed a free agent contract with the Buffalo Bills Sunday night but still felt the sting of not getting drafted. "The way I'm looking at it, I have to prove people wrong," Williams said.'

Marker T.D. Tied to J.P. [5:13 AM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'The statement is loud and clear. This is our quarterback of the future. This is the guy we expect to lead our team for a decade. It also demonstrates the lack of confidence they have in Bledsoe's future in Buffalo.'

Marker Anything possible with Bills 2004 draft [5:12 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'Say what you want, Tom Donahoe is not stupid even on his worst days, and Tom Modrak has some smarts as well and so does a Bills scouting staff that was convinced Lee Evans was the one player who could line up and make a difference right now.'

Marker Bills Team Report [5:11 AM]
The Sporting News reports: 'The team doesn't have anyone with proven experience behind Bledsoe, and Losman isn't ready to start.'

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April 26, 2004

Marker Bills Sign Iowa Quarterback And UB Safety [9:53 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The Bills have inked 18 college free agents including one from U.B.'

Marker Kelly hunting for cure [9:43 PM]
Kansas City Star reports: '"I had dreamed of having a boy I could go hunting, fishing and camping with,'' he said. "I'm an outdoors freak, and I was looking forward to having someone to share that with.'' Kelly paused and added softly, "But God had other plans.'''

Marker Bills Agree To Terms With Free Agents [9:41 PM] reports: 'The Bills have agreed to terms with the following free agents...'.

Marker Tiger cornerbcks first to sign NFL agent deals [9:30 PM]
Tennessee State University Athletics reports: Giddens played high school football at Glencliff before enrolling at TSU. He led the Tigers in interceptions each of the past two seasons and finished his career with 11 pickoffs. He led the Tigers in tackles with 82 his junior season. He was a second-team All-OVC selection in 2003 after earning first team All-OVC the previous season.

Marker Nevada Sends Four To NFL; Cordova Goes In Third Round [9:29 PM]
University of Nevada reports: Towns, a first-team All-WAC selectin last fall, signed Monday with Buffalo. The Pasadena, Calif., native was the leading tackler the past four years for Nevada and ranks third all-time in tackles. He was named the Coaches' Award winner at the annual football brunch.

Marker NFL Teams Load Up on Cougar Free Agents [9:29 PM]
Washington State University reports: Acholonu racked up 16.5 sacks as a senior in 2003, which tied for the national lead. The, Seattle, Wash., native's 32.5 career sacks is second all-time at WSU. Acholonu forced eight fumbles and recovered five during his four years on the Palouse.

Marker Brian Gaither, Nick McNeil and Michale Spicer Sign NFL Free Agent Contracts [9:28 PM]
Western Carolina University Athletics reports: Spicer, a two time All-SoCon pick and 2002 All-American selection, shattered the Western record for career tackles for losses (58), while finishing with 29 career sacks, one sack shy of Louis Cooper's school record.

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