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Buffalo Bills News - May 31, 2002

Marker Half of spectators will see HOF enshrinement for free [9:29 AM]
Canton Repository reports: '“I think every bar in Buffalo has a sign-up sheet for people to come watch the enshrinement,” said Joe Horrigan, the Hall’s vice president-communications/exhibits, who was born in Buffalo and retains close ties to the city. “With those fans coming from Buffalo, along with the fans who come from Pittsburgh every time a Steeler is inducted, we are expecting a huge, huge crowd."'

Marker HOF Festival tickets go on sale June 14 at Chamber [9:28 AM]
Canton Repository reports: 'A total of 20 events will be presented in the 11 days of the celebration of the induction of this year’s class of enshrinees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.'

Marker Football Hall of Fame induction tickets available [9:26 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'For the first time, the hall is making advance tickets available by mail for the event, to be held Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio. A total of 7,138 sideline seats will be available at $10 each.'

Marker Riemersma future still is not settled [5:17 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills, approximately $1.75 million under the cap, would like to create more breathing room so they can sign their 10 draft picks, go after a free agent defensive tackle and leave a cushion for emergencies. Riemersma and veteran tackle John Fina, who together represent $5.525 million in cap savings, are the prime candidates to be released.'

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May 30, 2002

Marker Riemersma's future in question with Bills [9:32 PM]
AP reports: '"We did everything we could with this, and it's up to them to decide," Riemersma's agent Jack Wirth said on Thursday. "If they think they're going to have a better team by releasing him, that's their view of it. We just wait to see what happens. I have no control over that, none whatsoever. It's their call."'

Marker Office vows to make most of chance at LE [8:19 PM]
Shout reports: Is Kendrick Office the man who will replace Phil Hansen at left end this season?

Marker Offseason Dish: Brooks to do less; Riemersma staying put [8:18 PM] reports: Let's hope so.

Marker 2002 Ralph C. Wilson Distinguished Service Awards [8:17 PM]
TBD reports: Pete Metzelaars and Thurman Thomas to be awarded Ralph C. Wilson Distinguished Service Awards for 2002. This was annouced at the Buffalo Bills open backers meeting this week.

Marker Bills Uniform Evolution: Modifications Through The Years [5:07 PM] reports: When the Bills started play in the American Football League in 1960, they wore blue jerseys at home with silver numbers and white jerseys with blue numbers on the road. Take a look back at the modifications to the Bills uniforms through the years.

Marker Fans can vote for NFL-Europe all-stars [1:57 PM]
NFL Europe reports: The following Bills allocated players are on it:
RB: Curtis Alexander - Frankfurt
WR: Reggie Allen - Amsterdam
DT: DeVonte Peterson - Scotland
ST: Curtis Alexander - Frankfurt

QB/KR David Dinkins and LB Jimmy Robinson are not listed on it

Marker Nine Days 'Til Uniform Unveiling; Tickets Available To Public Tomorrow [12:59 PM] reports: Tomorrow, members of the general public will have their first opportunity to pick up tickets to the event at all Tops Friendly Markets locations and there will be a four-ticket limit per person. While the festivities are open to the public and free to attend, a ticket will be required for admission to stadium, Bills Experience, and autograph sessions for kids 14-and-under.

Marker CBS Bills report: Notes, quotes, anecdotes [12:11 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: The only way Fina would stay would be to accept a salary cut from $3 million to the veteran minimum of $750,000.

Riemersma is working on a four-year, $12 million contract that's been re-worked at least once. "You realize there's a business side to all this and it's really not you as a player per se, it's that cap number," he said. "That's today's NFL. They sign TV deals and the cap every year only goes up seven percent but on average guy's contracts go up 10 to 12. Something's got to give.

Rumors continue to swirl that the Bills are willing to trade RB Shawn Bryson for help on the defensive line. Bryson is the Bills' biggest and fastest ball carrier, his only crime is that GM Tom Donahoe and coach Gregg Williams didn't draft him.

Marker $13 million dollars in dead cap money for the 2002 season [10:33 AM]
ESN reports: Rob Johnson ($5,075,250) alone counts for 39% of the team’s dead cap money. Combine that money with Henry Jones ($2.9 million), John Holecek ($1.6 million), Phil Hansen ($1.6 million) and Ken Irvin ($1.4 million) and you have 99% of the Bills dead dollars tied up among five players. Bills GM Donahoe is doing his best to avoid future dead cap money, that’s why it’ll be interesting to see what happens after June 1. A lot of dead money equals salary cap jail, something Donahoe has said will not happen again during his tenure with the team.

Marker Buffalo Bills Playoff History [9:25 AM] reports: The Buffalo Bills have had a long and storied playoff history, dating back to their 1964 and 1965 AFL Championships, as well as their four consecutive AFC Championships in the early 1990s. Here's a complete list along with game summaries.

Marker Tillman marches to his own drummer [5:18 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'The Bills would be crazy to let Riemersma go, especially after a career-best 53 catches last year. Keep this in mind: When Drew Bledsoe was at his best with New England, he had tight end Ben Coates to throw to. He needs a tight end with hands, and Dave Moore isn't that guy.'

Marker Veteran Fina trying to remain with Bills [5:16 AM]
D and C reports: 'With a willingness to take a "substantial" pay cut, according to his agent, and to assume a backup role if that's what the coaching staff wants, the veteran offensive tackle is not making it easy for the Buffalo Bills to cut him on Saturday.'

May 29, 2002

Marker Ticket Details of Uniform Unveiling [6:11 PM] reports: Tickets for the general public will be available beginning on Friday, May 31 at all Tops Friendly Markets locations and will be limited to four per person…

Marker AFC East - Division of the tight end [4:43 PM]
ESPN reports: The Bills are hoping tight end Jay Riemersma will restructure his contract to avoid being cut because coordinator Kevin Gilbride wants to run a lot of two tight-end sets. After catching only 11 percent of their teams' passes last season, AFC East tight ends likely will have an expanded role this season. Brief report on tight ends in the AFC East.

Marker Report on Buffalo Bills Booster Club meeting [4:20 PM]
TBD reports: Tom Donahoe, Gregg Williams and John Murphy attended and spoke on upcoming new jersey unveiling of the new uniform jersey. There will be 30,000 tickets available and the stage will be on the field like the Jim Kelly jersey retirement ceremony.
Photos of Donahoe, Williams and Murphy from meeting by Cindy Fox.

Marker Ten Days 'Til Uniform Unveiling [1:10 PM] reports: Gates will open on June 8 at 12:30 PM and the event will begin at 1:30 PM. Players will be available afterwards for kids 14 and under and a ticket stub will be required to receive autographs.

Marker Bills Off-Season Camp Photo Gallery (Part II) [9:47 AM] reports: More of the best photos from camp - Dave Moore, Coy Wire, Mike Williams, Drew Bledsoe, etc.

Marker Kelly follows Flutie with charity cereal [9:07 AM]
AP reports: 'Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly and a Pittsburgh marketing company have signed a deal for the creation of "Kelly Krunch," a limited edition cereal expected in Buffalo-area stores in July.'

May 28, 2002

Marker Pat Kirwan - SI favorite off season moves [5:30 PM]
CNN/SI reports: QB Drew Bledsoe -- He gives the Bills instant credibility and puts Buffalo in a position to be this year's Patriots story. For the first time in many years Drew has to compete to save his career and most insiders I spoke with feel he's up to the challenge. He could easily have the kind of effect that Rich Gannon had on the Raiders when he moved west to Oakland back in 1999, and Bills offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride is at his best when coaching smart QBs like Bledsoe.

Marker 5th Down: Running The Show [5:13 PM] reports: If you run down the list of superstars from those Super Bowl teams, you'll find a group of players whose personalities were as memorable as their football ability. Making such a large group of stars feel like they were appreciated was a tricky task. The man who did it (Marv Levy) might be the most unforgettable character of all.

Marker Eleven Days 'Til Uniform Unveiling [2:28 PM] reports: The event will feature a live performance by a national recording act, which will be announced at a later date. The Bills Experience will be set up outside the stadium. Fans will also have their first opportunity to purchase new Bills jerseys and other merchandise.

Marker Video: Tough And Rugged Jim Kelly [11:58 AM] reports: NFL Films Video: Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly remembers the hardest hit he ever took.

Marker Peter King predicts the Bills will make the playoffs this season [11:10 AM]
CNNSI reports: "7. I think I like a lot about what I'm seeing in Buffalo. The Bills will be a wild-card team."

Marker Bills Off-Season Camp Photo Gallery [10:03 AM] reports: The best photos of the week (Part I) - Mike Williams, Drew Bledsoe, London Fletcher, etc.

Marker Donahoe faces some tough decisions [8:13 AM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Figure on at least one, and possibly as many as three, former starters hitting the bricks on Saturday or soon after.'

May 27, 2002

Marker NFLE Europe players on the rise - Curtis Alexander [4:00 PM]
The Sporting News reports: Alexander has accomplished nearly as much as Jamal Robertson on the ground, but he has more total yards from scrimmage because he has been a bigger factor in the passing game. Alexander was a fourth-round draft pick of the Broncos in 1998, but failed to make it through his first training camp. He has generated enough interest that if the Bills waive him, another team with less depth will bring him in for a tryout.

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