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Buffalo Bills News - March 5, 2002

Marker Fletcher to visit Bills; Cowart at Jets [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Fletcher, 26, is a four-year veteran who led the Rams in tackles this year and was an alternate to the Pro Bowl.'

Marker Farrior patient while Jets entertain OLBs [9:06 AM]
Bergen Record reports: 'Cowart, who spent his first four NFL seasons with Buffalo, will meet today and possibly Wednesday with Bradway, coach Herman Edwards, and defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, his coordinator with the Bills.'

Marker Bills set to meet with Fletcher [8:16 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'While the Bills clearly have far more room to manuever under the salary cap now than they did this time a year ago, Fletcher's asking price may be too high anyway. But the fact the Bills are apparently going to the trouble to fly him in and talk to him could signal they are looking for options in their talks with Cowart, who is coming off an achilles injury.'

Marker Jets Shopping for LBs [8:15 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'Keeping all options open, the team has scheduled free-agent visits with Sam Cowart today and Shawn Barber on Thursday. Cowart, 27, thrived in Buffalo's 3-4 defense under Jets defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, but missed all but one game last season with an Achilles injury. One of his agents, Gene Burroughs, said Cowart is ready to pass a physical. If healthy, Cowart is an attractive option.'

Marker Bucs' No. 2 guy risky pick for Falcons [8:14 AM]
Atlanta Journal Constitution reports: 'Now, don't misunderstand our point. Ruskell isn't an awful choice for the Falcons. He just isn't the best choice, especially since Tom Modrak and his decades of experience when it comes to player personnel decisions is only a phone call away with the Buffalo Bills.'

Marker Texans, Johnson near deal [5:21 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: '"Coming from the team I came from, (the Texans) already have a better offensive line, defensive line and secondary in place. That's very attractive. I know the offensive coordinator, and I'm very comfortable with him. I think my best years are ahead of me."'

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March 4, 2002

Marker Cowart heading for New Jersey? [10:56 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: @ LB Sam Cowart looks to be leaving Buffalo but may not be moving out of the state of New York. The Jersey Jets, who have been one of the busier teams early in free agency, will bring Cowart in Tuesday. The Bills maintain interest in bringing the 1998 second-round pick back. One player with a vested interest in where Cowart lands is LB James Farrior, who led the NFL in tackles with the Jets last season. Farrior?s destination of choice remains New York, but he?s unaware what level of interest the Jets have in bringing him back.

Marker Texans appear ready to sign ex-Bills QB Johnson [8:13 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'If the Texans do sign Johnson, it would likely be a one-year deal for about $1 million, which may not sound like a lot of money, but it would give Johnson the chance to jumpstart his career again. The Texans would likely make him the starter ahead of rookie David Carr, who is almost certain to be their choice with the first pick in the April draft. The Texans would love to allow Carr a year to groom behind a veteran before turning over the starting job to him.'

Marker Bills focusing on quarterback [12:27 PM]
ESPN reports: @ According to ESPN's John Clayton the Bills are pretty focused on signing quarterback Jeff Blake or [Jaguars] Jonathan Quinn. They haven't made any decision whether or not to show interest in Elvis Grbac.

Marker Wallpaper on Phil Hansen by Gina Mustico [11:49 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: @ 'Moose' has released a Wallpaper of retired Bill Phil Hansen.

Marker Bills were willing to give 5th round draft pick for Blake [9:54 AM]
The Sporting News reports: @ The Bills were so interested in QB Jeff Blake that they were prepared to give the Saints a fifth-round pick for him. And Blake was so interested in playing for the Bills that he was willing to rework his contract. Knowing the Saints would release Blake anyway, the Bills backed out. Now that Blake has been released, he is expected to sign with the Bills.

Marker Let the QB search begin [9:25 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: @ Now that Rob Johnson has left Buffalo, let's all look ahead. Johnson was given every opportunity to be the leading QB of the Bills.

Marker Johnson to chat with Texans [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Houston offensive coordinator Chris Palmer was Johnson's quarterback coach at Jacksonville and thinks highly of him.'

Marker Donahoe ready to move forward without Johnson [8:37 AM]
AP reports: '"It was our intention to try and work something out with Rob," he said. "Right from the beginning we wanted to work something out. If there's a guy in free agency who makes sense, we'll take a look at him. But we really like Alex."'

Marker Why would Donahoe be interested in Kris Brown? [8:28 AM]
TBD reports: @ Kris Brown is kicker who missed so many field goals last year, right? Simon has the explanation.

Marker Kris Brown in Bills future? [8:15 AM]
ESPN reports: @ Don't be surprised if the Bills sign Steelers K Kris Brown, who is a restricted free agent, to an offer sheet, wrote ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli.

Marker Johnson fits Texans' bill at QB [2:27 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: 'A source with the Bills who knows Johnson said over the weekend that money isn't the issue with him because he made $18.8 million at Buffalo. The issue with Johnson is working with a coach who likes, understands and respects him in a situation where he can repair his damaged reputation.'

March 3, 2002

Marker RJ to get look by Texans? [9:20 PM]
ESPN reports: @ Look for the Houston Texans to bring quarterback Rob Johnson, released by the Bills last week, to town for a visit. The meeting could take place as early as Tuesday, when the Texans start to visit with between 8 to 10 unrestricted free agents. Houston offensive coordinator Chris Palmer had the same job in Jacksonville when Johnson played for the Jaguars and is familiar with him. But it doesn't appear Johnson, or any other veteran QB for that matter, is going to get rich by signing with Houston. The team has decided that Carr will play as a rookie and has budgeted just $1 million for a veteran backup.

Marker Rob Never Did The Job [8:33 PM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'In the NFL you're either a winner or a loser, and right now Johnson is a loser, until he proves otherwise.'

Marker Bills hopeful for Cowart; looking at 2 ex-Titans [1:18 PM]
Shout! reports: @ The Bills are hoping that the unrestricted free agency market swings back into their favor with regards to middle linebacker Sam Cowart, just as it did with Ruben Brown two years ago. If not it appears they will turn toward ex-Titan players.

Marker Tackles measure up at combine [9:27 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'McKinnie and Williams - the top two offensive linemen in the NFL draft this year - are the kind of behemoths that are rare even by the oversized standards of pro football.'

Marker It's not a good time to be a free agent QB [9:25 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Considering how Johnson's situation had soured here - especially in the locker room where his teammates liked him but simply did not believe in him - it's probably a better career move for him.'

Marker Bills, Sabres fans are gnashing teeth for no good reason [9:24 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The problem is that the patience of Buffalo fans with young pro athletes, gauged on a scale of 1 through 10, measures around a minus-14.'

Marker Thousands rally to Children's defense [9:22 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and his wife, Jill, shared the podium to praise the work of doctors at Children's Hospital in caring for their 5-year-old son, Hunter, who suffers from Krabbe disease, and their two daughters.'

Marker You scratch my ego . . . [9:21 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The wordplay between former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt ended in a tie, with each scoring a verbal touchdown, at a news conference last week to promote Saturday's rally to keep Children's Hospital on Bryant Street.'

March 2, 2002

Marker Will Riemersma Accept A Paycut? [7:00 PM]
ESPN reports: The Bills have asked tight end Jay Riemersma to take a pay cut of $1.25 million on his base salary but are only offering the opportunity to earn back $500,000 of that in incentives. If he balks, Riemersma could be the next tight end to be released. ...

Marker There's a kicker [2:07 PM]
ESPN reports: Don't be surprised if the Buffalo Bills sign Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Kris Brown, who is a restricted free agent, to an offer sheet. The three-year veteran is coming off a miserable year, of course, one in which he missed a league-high 14 field goal attempts. But Bills general manager Tom Donahoe drafted Brown during his tenure in Pittsburgh, feels the kicker might benefit from a change of scenery, and wouldn't mind tweaking Steelers officials a bit.

Marker Ex-Bill Talley is given as example why free agency does not work [9:48 AM]
ESPN reports: In 1995 the Atlanta Falcons signed linebacker Darryl Talley, a Pro Bowl performer during his years in Buffalo, as an unrestricted free agent. They quickly found out that Talley, who played well in the Bills 3-4 defensive front, could not handle the move to a 4-3 design. Talley became not only a bad player, an aging and intransigent veteran who couldn't understand why he could not play up to his previous level, but eventually a locker room malcontent.

Marker 'Tennessee' Williams makes play on ex-Titans [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills' head coach said Friday he is interested in pursuing safety Blaine Bishop and linebacker Eddie Robinson.'

Marker Bills on QB Blake's free-agent tour list [6:38 AM]
D and C reports: '"I want to start in this league and there are a couple teams that want me to be their starter," said Blake, who plans to shop around. "I don't think I'll be out of a job next year."'

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