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Buffalo Bills News - February 23, 2005

Marker Cowboy up! Bledsoe agrees to terms [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills, meanwhile, did not exercise their option to designate anybody on the roster as a franchise player or transition free agent. It means left tackle Jonas Jennings and defensive tackle Pat Williams can shop their services around the league starting March 2. The Bills are expected to attempt to sign at least one of the two. They could wind up signing both, depending on how much money they command in the open market.'

Marker Cap leaves Bills some spare change [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills are likely to be at about $78.5 million come next Wednesday. Initial estimates of the Bills having more than $10 million in cap space did not take into account several bonus payments that are included in player contracts this year.'

Marker Henry's status affects Bills' strategy [5:01 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Jennings is expected to command a signing bonus of more than $10 million alone. In recent days, huge deals have been struck with Seattle's Walter Jones (seven years, $52 million) and Indianapolis' Ryan Diem (seven years, $36 million) by their own teams to keep them in the fold.'

Marker One Drew too many [5:00 AM]
Dallas Morning News reports: 'Bledsoe playing behind the Dallas line? Jevon Kearse and Michael Strahan can almost feel their sack bonuses kicking in.'

Marker Bledsoe agrees to contract [4:59 AM]
Fort Worth Star Telegram reports: 'The page is one ripped out of the "Bill Parcells Players" book. Parcells drafted Bledsoe first overall with the Patriots in 1993, and Bledsoe helped lead New England to Super Bowl XXXI after the 1996 season. And while Bledsoe is 23-25 in his three seasons with the Bills, in many ways he defines the "bus driver" Parcells has said he desires in a quarterback.'

Marker Bledsoe to sign with Dallas [4:58 AM]
San Antonio Express News reports: 'The addition of Bledsoe leaves Dallas with three quarterbacks, including second-year player Drew Henson and third-year pro Tony Romo. Vinny Testaverde, who started 15 games at quarterback for the Cowboys last season, will become an unrestricted free agent March 2.'

Marker Bledsoe, Cowboys Reach Agreement [4:57 AM]
Washington Post reports: 'Bledsoe likely will become the new starter for a Cowboys club that went 6-10 last season, but perhaps could improve rapidly. The Cowboys have abundant salary cap space to sign free agents, and have two first-round picks in the April draft. Dallas will turn over its running game to tailback Julius Jones, who was highly productive as a rookie last season after recovering from a shoulder injury, and Bledsoe almost certainly will start at quarterback ahead of youngsters Drew Henson and Tony Romo.'

Marker Parcells gets Cowboys to go for Bledsoe instead of Vinny [4:56 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'In the long run, this could be a heck of move for the Cowboys -- perhaps a last-gasp effort by Parcells to turn things around. The talk is he will leave the team after the 2005 season if they don't make the playoffs. Henson wouldn't do that. Bledsoe can.'

Marker Report: Bledsoe a Cowboy [4:55 AM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The signing reunites Bledsoe with Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells, who drafted the signal-caller into the NFL when he was the head coach of the New England Patriots in 1993.'

Marker Drew to Dallas [4:54 AM] reports: 'And so it came to pass; Drew Bledsoe is going to Dallas to play for coach Bill Parcells again.'

Marker Henry To Cardinals? [4:53 AM] reports: 'If the Bills canít work out a deal with the Cardinals, there will be a definite alternative route with other teams. Henryís numbers from previous years arenít a fluke, and heíll make a team extremely happy next season. Just look at how quickly the NFL evolves. Not even two years ago the Bills were going into the 2003 season with Drew Bledsoe and Travis Henry as their future leaders, now itís JP Losman and Willis McGahee. This duo should be a tandem for a decent amount of time.'

Marker Catching up with ... Takeo Spikes [4:52 AM] reports: 'So how do you look in blue and red compared to orange and black?
Spikes: I look like a winner.'

Marker Building a defense, Part 2: Buffalo [4:51 AM] reports: 'No, the best defense of the 2004 season was in Buffalo.'

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February 22, 2005

Marker Cowboys agree to deal with Bledsoe, sources say [10:35 PM]
Dallas Morning News reports: 'The addition of Bledsoe signals the end of Vinny Testaverde's time in Dallas. Testaverde, who will become an unrestricted free agent on March 2, threw for 3,532 yards, 17 touchdowns and 20 interceptions last season.'

Marker Report: QB Bledsoe agrees in pricipal to join Cowboys [10:32 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Jones has been pushing for Drew Henson to take over as the starter, but Parcells felt that Henson, who spent the previous three years playing third base in the New York Yankees' farm system, did not have enough football experience.'

Marker Reports: Cowboys to sign Bledsoe [10:31 PM]
AP reports: 'The Cowboys have said all along they wanted to go with a veteran quarterback rather than turn to one of their youngsters, Drew Henson or Tony Romo.'

Marker Bledsoe-'Boys deal done, source says [10:28 PM]
Fort Worth Star Telegram reports: 'Bledsoe will likely be introduced Wednesday at the Cowboys' Valley Ranch headquarters.'

Marker Bledsoe May Have New Home Already [10:22 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Bledsoe should be in Dallas on Wednesday to finalize the deal and also talk with coaches.'

Marker Bledsoe to replace Testaverde as starter [8:19 PM]
ESPN reports: 'Multiple league sources confirmed Tuesday night that Bledsoe, whose release by the Buffalo Bills became official earlier Tuesday, has reached agreement in principle with the Cowboys on most of the major components of a contract. Bledsoe will fly to Dallas on Wednesday, meet with coaches and team officials, and likely finish the deal.'

Marker Drew Bledsoe - On To The Next Challenge [5:14 PM] reports: 'Drew Bledsoe arrived in Buffalo in 2002 and in his first season as the Bills starting quarterback proceeded to set 10 franchise records including most yards (4,359), attempts (610), completions (375) and 300-yard games (seven). He also helped Buffalo increase its win total from three in 2001 to eight in 2002. Things appeared to heading in the right direction for the team and the quarterback. But after Bledsoe struggled in 2003 and the team finished with a disappointing 6-10 record, the franchise made a 2004 NFL Draft-day trade to acquire Tulane quarterback J.P. Losman with the 22nd overall selection.'

Marker Bills Officially Release Drew Bledsoe [5:14 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Today was the first day that the Bills could officially release him.'

Marker NFL Europe Proves To Be Valuable [12:59 PM] reports: 'Buffalo hopes the professional playing experience for these five individuals will prove to be as valuable as it was for current Bills punter Brian Moorman.'

Marker Subject matter is curious for Bledsoe basher [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But I wonder - where did this revelation about Bledsoe and the coin toss originate? Who, outside of someone in the organization, would have been privy to such knowledge? And why would it be worthy of mention unless someone was out to grind an ax?'

Marker Sizing up speed [7:15 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Colts president Bill Polian used defensive end Phil Hansen as an example of what sophisticated training techniques and hard work can achieve. Hansen weighed 267 pounds when Polian, then the Buffalo Bills' general manager, drafted him out of North Dakota State in 1991. Hansen got bigger, stronger, faster. He played 11 seasons, most of them at about 305 pounds, alongside future Hall of Fame end Bruce Smith. "We couldn't make him into Bruce Smith, but he got faster," Polian said. "You can improve a player's quickness. You can improve his speed to a certain degree, but not drastically. If you can get an incremental 3 percent, that can be the difference between being a good player and a great player."'

Marker Another Drew, another sample of Parcells' will [6:18 AM]
San Antonio Express News reports: 'Parcells will try to figure out how this athlete, who just turned 33 years old, would have Buffalo turning instead to an untested second-year player.'

Marker NFL Players, Once Fleeced, Invest in Advice, Bonds, Real Estate [6:16 AM] reports: 'And [Troy] Vincent has ownership interests in a construction company, a spa and Eltekon Financial LLC, a financial services provider based in Austin, Texas.'

February 21, 2005

Marker Inside slant [3:57 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Coach Gregg Williams got three years. Quarterback Drew Bledsoe got three years. See a pattern here?

Marker Strategy and personnel [3:57 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'If Matthews calls it quits, there will be plenty of other options for the Bills. The market is expected to be flooded with veterans by March 2, the start of free agency. Then it becomes a matter of money and the player's willingness to mentor Losman.'

Marker Notes, quotes [3:56 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Rusty Jones, who worked 20 seasons for the Bills as strength and conditioning coordinator under six head coaches, has left the club and signed with the Chicago Bears. Jones was given a new title last year - director of physical development and assistant to the head coach - with Brad Roll assuming the strength and conditioning duties, which was Jones' love.'

Marker Time right for Buffalo to dump Drew [3:54 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'The deal looked brilliant for the first two months of 2002, when the Bills were the most explosive team in football. Just as important, Bledsoe's debut rekindled waning interest in the team and sold a whole lot of tickets. The next two-and-a-half years, though, left no doubt that it was time for Bledsoe to move on.'

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