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Buffalo Bills News - March 4, 2015

Marker Bills get their workhorse running back in Eagles’ McCoy [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But the Bills’ defense ended up faring just fine without Alonso in 2014. The team finished fourth in the league in both yards and points allowed. Additionally, rookie Preston Brown and third-year veteran Nigel Bradham proved to be young, every-down linebackers with similar skill sets to Alonso.'

Marker Major trade shows Bills are serious [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'You don’t carry the ball 300 times two years in a row if you’re not willing to go between the tackles and take a featured back’s physical pounding. Ryan and general manager Doug Whaley are banking on it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t invest $9.75 million in a back.'

Marker Blockbuster: Bills to acquire Eagles' star RB McCoy [1:57 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"(Ryan is) going to get Shady the ball any way that he possibly can," said Tomlinson. "He's going to utilize all of the assets that Shady McCoy brings to a team. That means running screen routes, possibly lining him out on the outside and create mismatches. They're going to try to get this guy the ball as much as possible. We all know that Rex Ryan leans on that run game; that's what he wants to do. He wants to control the pace of the game with the run game. This guy, LeSean McCoy has proven that he can do that. I think it's going to be a perfect marriage with LeSean McCoy and Rex Ryan."'

Marker Spiller: Manuel can't be 'buddy-buddy' with Bills [1:56 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"(You're) the face of the franchise, (you're) the quarterback, so you have to demand certain things; you have to demand everything," Spiller continued. "You have to let the receivers know where they should be if they want to get the ball. You have to the let the running back know, 'This is where the blitz is coming from, I need you to get over there and pick it up.' I think early on, he just really didn't understand how to step on guys' toes. Once Kyle took over, he (saw) how Kyle did it, and that kinda helped him."'

Marker Buffalo Bills trade Kiko Alonso to Philadelphia Eagles for LeSean McCoy, according to report [1:55 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Alonso, who was the Bills' second-round pick in 2013, spent the 2014 season on injured reserve with a torn ACL. He was named as the PFWA defensive rookie of the year after piling up 159 tackles in his first season in the league.'

Marker C.J. Spiller says he's not returning to Buffalo Bills after LeSean McCoy trade [1:54 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'The Bills contacted Spiller after the trade to thank him for his time in Buffalo. Once the Bills acquired McCoy, who has a similar running style to Spiller but has been a far more productive back during his career, keeping Spiller in the fold didn't make sense.'

Marker Eric Wood, other Buffalo Bills players react to LeSean McCoy for Kiko Alonso trade [1:53 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Within minutes, NFL Network and ESPN were breaking down the trade while seemingly everyone on Twitter had an opinion. The players still on the Bills' roster had quite the reactions to losing a star defensive player and gaining another superstar on offense.'

Marker C.J. Spiller says Bills QB EJ Manuel needs to step on more toes and be less 'buddy-buddy' [1:52 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: '"Once Kyle took over, he (saw) how Kyle did it and it kind of helped him," Spiller said. "He does tremendous work. He comes to work every day prepares, unbelievable, he's in the first, leaving late, last one to leave. So he has all that stuff. It was just that 'buddy-buddy.' You know how it is. You come in with some guys and you really don't want to step on any toes. But as the quarterback you have to do that."'

Marker NFL free agency primer: Where do Buffalo Bills stand after franchise tag deadline? [1:51 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'The NFLPA announced the cap figures for every team in the NFL Monday, and the Buffalo Bills' number is $145,781,930. The official NFL salary cap for 2015 is $143.28 million, but the Bills rolled over a little more than $2 million from last year. This all means that the Bills will end up with a little over $27 million in cap space, according to the NFLPA.'

Marker Breaking down the pending McCoy-Alonso trade [1:50 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'The odds appear greater than not that Alonso will turn out to be a perennial elite middle linebacker for the Eagles. McCoy might be closing in fast on the dreaded running-back wall.'

Marker Eagles trade RB LeSean McCoy to Bills for LB Kiko Alonso [1:48 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Ryan is famous for his preferred style of offense — “ground and pound” — and must be thrilled to get such an offensive weapon. McCoy’s play-making abilities should be especially useful considering the Bills have a horrendous situation at quarterback with EJ Manuel as their top signal caller. McCoy, 26, has rushed for more than 1,300 yards in three of the last four seasons.'

Marker Eagles loaded with cap space after dealing McCoy to Bills [1:47 AM]
New York Post reports: 'The trade definitely had the look of a salary dump by Philadelphia, with McCoy scheduled to make $24.25 million over the next three seasons while Alonso — still working on his rookie contract — is set to earn just $1.7 million over the next two years.'

Marker LeSean McCoy traded from Philadelphia Eagles to Buffalo Bills for Kiko Alonso, report says [1:46 AM]
Newsday reports: 'The trade also opens a hole for the Bills at linebacker. While there will be other options for the team, new coach Rex Ryan undoubtedly will be interested in pursuing free agent David Harris of the Jets.'

Marker How that LeSean McCoy-Kiko Alonso trade can impact Jets [1:45 AM]
Newark Star-Ledger reports: 'Consider: David Harris and C.J. Spiller.'

Marker With LeSean McCoy-Kiko Alonso trade, Chip Kelly defies convention and helps Eagles [1:44 AM]
Washington Post reports: 'Running backs are also among the most fungible players in any sport. They have been devalued in recent seasons — last year, no running backs were taken in the first 50 picks of the draft. It is not prudent for a team to carry a running back — any running back — making McCoy’s $10.2 million, more than seven percent of the salary cap for one player at a position that is inherently replaceable and health-averse.'

Marker LeSean McCoy trade shows again it’s Chip Kelly’s way in Philadelphia [1:43 AM]
Washington Post reports: 'In Buffalo, new Bills Coach Rex Ryan can try to go back to his once-successful formula with the New York Jets and attempt to win with a running game and an overpowering defense. The Buffalo defense was superb last season even without Alonso. Now Ryan gets a centerpiece runner to go with that defense. That’s fortunate for him, since the other thing that has followed him from his previous job to this one is quarterback woes. The Bills have EJ Manuel and, well, basically no one at this point, having tried but failed to sign Josh McCown.'

Marker Could Rex Ryan be using LeSean McCoy as a recruiting chip for Darrelle Revis? [1:42 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Ryan is brash and aggressive in all walks of life. A week shy of free agency, he might have realized the Bills didn't have enough to sway Revis' opinion if the star cornerback does reach free agency, and today's trade might have been a last-ditch effort to swing for the fences with the goal of a reunion.'

Marker Gilchrist fought good fight for rights [1:41 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: 'Brackenridge native Carlton Chester “Cookie” Gilchrist was part of a decision to boycott an American Football League All-Star Game in New Orleans in 1965.'

Marker AP source: Eagles deal running back McCoy for Bills' Alonso [1:40 AM]
AP reports: 'McCoy had an inconsistent season last year after leading the NFL with 1,607 yards rushing in 2013. At his best, McCoy is an elite multidimensional running back who has been a proven threat as both a runner and receiver.'

Marker Report: Eagles to trade LeSean McCoy to Bills [1:39 AM]
The Sports Network reports: 'He led the NFL in both rushing yards and yards from scrimmage in 2013 but saw a dropoff in both categories last season. The six-year NFL veteran would have cost the Eagles close to $12 million against the salary cap in 2015.'

Marker Bills sending McCoy to Eagles for Alonso [1:38 AM]
The Sports Xchange reports: 'The Eagles' second-round draft pick in 2009 out of Pitt, McCoy spent six seasons in Philadelphia and topped 1,000 yards four times. Overall, he compiled 1,461 carries for 6,792 yards (4.6 average) and 44 touchdowns.'

Marker LeSean McCoy traded to Bills [1:37 AM]
ESPN reports: 'An Oregon product, Alonso will reunite with his former college coach, Chip Kelly, who will enter his third season in Philadelphia. Without Alonso, the Bills' top options at linebacker next season will be Nigel Bradham and Preston Brown. They could also re-sign Brandon Spikes or add a free agent like David Harris, who played under Ryan with the Jets.'

Marker We grade the trade: LeSean McCoy to Bills, Kiko Alonso to Eagles [1:36 AM]
CBS Sports reports: 'McCoy does have in excess of $25 million left on his contract over the next three seasons, but our Jason La Canfora is already reporting that McCoy and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, could ask Buffalo for an extension or threaten to hold out. If it's tough to see how possibly being the NFL's highest-paid back could be a problem for McCoy, consider that almost none of the future money he's owed is guaranteed. Buffalo can move on from McCoy nearly cost-free after this season if they wish, even if that would seem an immense waste of resources.'

Marker Sources: LeSean McCoy going from Eagles to Bills for LB Kiko Alonso [1:35 AM]
Fox Sports reports: '"If you can exert your will at the line of scrimmage, it's going to open a lot of other things in the offense," Roman said. "So to simply say, `Hey, we're just going to run the football,' well, nobody simply runs the football. But we want to run the football to a level of where people respect and fear us in our ability to do so."'

Marker Report: Bills pull off blockbuster, trade Kiko Alonso for LeSean McCoy [1:34 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The move to acquire McCoy spells the end for C.J. Spiller's tenure in Buffalo, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Spiller told NFL Network shortly after the trade news broke that the Bills called him to thank him for his services.'

Marker In Bills' McCoy-Kiko deal, tie goes to the talent [1:33 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Now, if only they can find any ounce of average quarterback play, they can turn postseason dreams into a potential reality.'

Marker Fit for Bills? QB Jake Locker [1:32 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Of the remaining options in free agency, Locker is the only player a front office member should be ‘pounding the table’ for. Still only 26, the former first-round pick only has 23 starts to his name, and he actually showed signs of improvement in the starts over 2013 and 2014. There are clear examples of games that Locker, quite frankly, just didn’t have it (see: Cincinnati in 2014). However, if the Bills are looking for the lesser of the evils, and for the quarterback that could be the biggest hit of those available, it’s hard to look anywhere other than with Locker. The injuries are of course an issue, and should be considered for contractual purposes. Also, be prepared, he is not a perfect player, and likely will never be anything but average. However, with where the Bills are in terms of the rest of their roster, average will suffice in a bid for the playoffs.'

Marker Fit for Bills? TE Jermaine Gresham [1:31 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The Bills would likely add more to the position, but Gresham could be a cost-effective option at tight end if they swing and miss on the upper-echelon of free agents like Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron or Charles Clay. Buffalo absolutely should take a swing on one of the top three, simply because they can add an element to the passing attack that doesn’t currently exist on their roster. Gresham wouldn’t be a big step up in pass-catching, but he is more of an all-around player than Scott Chandler. He would be a suitable Plan B if all else fails.'

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March 3, 2015

Marker Buffalo Bills decide not to use franchise tag on Jerry Hughes [1:59 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'If the Bills had given the franchise tag to Hughes, and he played under it, he would have made $14.813 million in 2015. Instead, the Bills have between now and March 7 to come to terms with Hughes before other teams can begin negotiating with him. Free agency opens officially on March 10 at 4 p.m.'

Marker Buffalo Bills free agency preview: Rex Ryan era begins [1:58 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'Offensive guard Chris Williams signed a four-year deal last offseason, but he comes with a $3.35 million hit against the cap. Williams doesn't appear to be a natural fit for the power-blocking scheme offensive coordinator Greg Roman runs.'

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