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Buffalo Bills News - February 21, 2002

Marker Buchsbaum on Modrak [3:51 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: Based on stories over the past few years, it's pretty clear that Modrak and Donahoe are very tight with the old-school, roll-up-your-sleeves football writers - Buchsbaum and Len P. (and Bill Werndl of XTRA and formerly of Philly, for that matter).

Marker Bills Lop Off their Johnson [3:49 PM]
Fanball reports: Question: What?s the first thing you should ask yourself when a marginal NFL player signs a lucrative, long-term contract? Answer: When is he going to get cut?

Marker Lofton lands first-ever coaching assignment [11:57 AM]
ESPN reports: If experience really is the best teacher, the Chargers will have a terrific mentor for their young wide receiver corps in 2002, with the team on Wednesday hiring former NFL star James Lofton as an assistant coach.

It will mark the first coaching assignment at any level for Lofton, who had a brilliant 16-season career in the league.

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February 20, 2002

Marker Black could have been something [10:38 PM]
Shout! reports: 'Avion Black is now a Houston Texan. The Bills never got close to utilizing Black's speed. He could have been an excellent kick returner. In fact, against the Saints on opening day last season, he ran a punt back 34 yards. Unfortunately, he had one man to beat - the punter, who ended up tackling him. Still, it was among the best drive starts the Bills had on offense all season.'

Marker Lofton, Cameron added to San Diego staff [9:01 PM]
AP reports: 'It is the first NFL coaching job for Lofton, who played in the league for 16 seasons and spent the last eight years in broadcasting.'

Marker Ex-Bill James Lofton to coach receivers for Chargers [7:21 PM]
Chargers Website reports: The Chargers added one of the most prolific pass catchers in NFL history to their coaching staff when Schottenheimer named James Lofton as the team's WR coach on Wednesday. This will be Lofton's first coaching assignment. Lofton got to know Charger's GM Butler when he was a Buffalo Bill.

Marker Hallís call to Kelly should open door for Buffalo teammates [7:08 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: Why do I get the feeling that years from now, after several Bills have been honored in the Canton hall, Iíll still be trying to explain how a team as talented as those great Bills teams failed to win a Super Bowl title?

Marker Billy Conaty offseason Q & A [7:05 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Official Bills site catches up with free agent center, Billy Conaty.

Marker Down but not out in South Central L.A. [12:21 PM]
ESPN reports: Marlin Briscoe was the first African-American quarterback to start a pro game 34 years ago for the Denver Broncos. Now he's trying to make a difference again at an outreach program in Los Angeles. After his release from the Broncos, Briscoe latched on with the Buffalo Bills and became a wide receiver, a position he had never before played. The first season, he became the Bills' offensive MVP. A year later, he led the league in receiving and became an All-Pro

February 19, 2002

Marker Saints sign Lewis, looking for team to trade Blake [8:21 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: As for Blake, the Saints would like to receive a fourth-round pick for his services, with the Bills one team that may be interested. The Bills are looking for a veteran QB to compete with Alex Van Pelt, which almost certainly means that Rob Johnson won't be back.

The 31-year-old Blake has a cap figure of $6.166 million in 2002, which is why the Saints want to trade him. They would save about $2 million by trading him. He is also due a roster bonus of $1.25 million on March 2.

Marker Losing Black was no loss for the Bills [4:50 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Without that special teams edge, he quickly fell to No. 5 wideout behind starters Eric Moulds and Peerless Price, rookie Reggie Germany who moved up to the No. 3 spot and even Jeremy McDaniel who fell into disfavor.'

Marker Texans nab Black, pass on Johnson [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills lost reserve receiver Avion Black to the Texans. But after Black was taken, the Bills did not bother to pull Johnson back onto their protected list, as was their option.'

Marker Johnson's time as a Bill must end now [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Stop pretending he's going to swallow a huge salary cut and come crawling back to a town that is sick of him. Put the fans, the players, the media and Rob himself out of their misery and cut the guy right now.'

Marker Texans select Black with 16th pick in expansion draft [8:28 AM]
Sports Network reports: The 24-year-old Black was mostly a special teams player for the Bills last season. He has 697 total return yards, eight receptions for 90 yards and five special-teams tackles in his NFL career.

Marker Bills stuck with Johnson's huge salary [8:07 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: The Houston Texans didn't want Rob Johnson on Monday, and the Buffalo Bills still haven't decided whether they intend to keep him.

Marker Texans aren't desperate for quarterback help [7:55 AM]
ESPN reports: By selecting Bears backup Danny Wuerffel to go with veteran Mike Quinn, the Texans don't have to hit the QB market hard. If Gus Frerotte, Jim Miller or Rob Johnson -- if he's cut by Buffalo -- wants to come to Houston for a $1 million, one-year deal, the Texans will probably accommodate him. Frank Reich started in Carolina until Kerry Collins was ready in the first month. The Texans -- if they draft Carr -- are only asking for games, not years, from a veteran QB.

Marker Johnson's status depends on contract [5:26 AM]
D and C reports: '"We've been pretty open about the situation right from the end of the season," Donahoe said. "If there's a chance for Rob to come back the contract's a factor. If they're not receptive to that, it's going to be difficult for us to bring him back. We can't do it under the current number."'

February 18, 2002

Marker Ex-Bill Patton, 34, agrees to six-year contract [9:26 PM]
ESPN reports: Veteran LB Marvcus Patton, a starter for the Kansas City Chiefs the last three seasons, agreed to a six-year contract Monday. Patton was an eighth-round draft choice of the Buffalo Bills out of UCLA and played on all four of the team's Super Bowl squad.

Marker Bills' Johnson still in limbo after Texans pass on him [9:24 PM]
AP reports: 'Asked the chances of Johnson taking a pay cut, Donahoe replied: ``I don't know. You'd have to ask Rob that question. I'm not good at mind-reading. And a pay cut is only the first step", Donahoe added.'

Marker Houston Texans Expansion Draft - Tom Donahoe Comments to the media [9:24 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: [Q] On the possibility of Rob staying and accepting a pay cutÖ
[A] You would have to ask Rob that question. I am not good at mind reading, I failed that course in college. We have had discussions with David Dunn, we'll have some more and see what happens. We have spoken a couple times.

Marker Cowart-Bills contract talks remain stalled [8:26 PM]
AP reports: 'On Monday, Bills general manager Tom Donahoe said he hasn't ruled out using either a franchise or transition tag on Cowart prior to Thursday's deadline. Such a move would at least give Buffalo the right to match any offer made to Cowart by any other team.'

Marker Texans take WR Black with 16th pick of expansion draft [6:26 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Black, who turns 25 in April, had just four catches for 45 yards last season.'

Marker Avion Black taken as #16 by Texans in Expansion Draft [4:46 PM]
ESPN reports: Avion Black was the only Buffalo Bill taken in 19 picks taken by Texans.
Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer: The two-year veteran wide receiver is still very raw and only caught eight passes in 2001. But he has good size and decent speed, nice body control, and seems to have potential as a wideout and clearly can help in the kickoff return game. With a cap price of $460,000, he's worth a gamble.

February 17, 2002

Marker Avion Black on list of players Texans considering [9:06 PM]
ESPN reports: Buffalo two-year veteran wide receiver Avion Black is still very raw and only caught eight passes in 2001. But he has good size and decent speed, seems to have potential as a wideout and clearly can help in the kickoff return game. With a cap price of $460,000, heís worth a gamble.

Marker Texans to spend but not for Bills [9:21 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Texans General Manager Charley Casserly and head coach Dom Capers wouldn't comment on specific players during a national conference call earlier this week, but they didn't seem overly enthusiastic about Johnson when asked about him.'

February 16, 2002

Marker Van Pelt's QB Salary numbers [9:57 PM]
ESPN reports: Some catching up on the details of a few new contracts recently awarded to quarterbacks: The five-year deal signed by Alex Van Pelt of Buffalo is worth $5.4 million and it includes a $1 million signing bonus along with base salaries of $650,000 (for 2002), $750,000 (2003) and $1 million each for 2004-2006.

Marker Bills sign two free agents [9:33 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills have signed guard Robert Hunt and wide receiver Andre Rone, the team announced Friday. Both were free agents.'

February 15, 2002

Marker Blank hopeful he can offer McKay GM job [8:06 PM]
AP reports: 'Blank covets McKay, whose credentials are better than the three candidates he's interviewed -- Buffalo director of football operations Tom Modrak, New Orleans general manager of football operations Randy Mueller and Seattle senior vice president Mike Reinfeldt.'

Marker Bills sign free agents Hunt, Rone [3:06 PM]
AP reports: 'Hunt, a guard, was in Kansas City's training camp last year but was released at the end of preseason. He played for the Frankfurt Galaxy in NFL Europe in 2000. Wide receiver Rone spent three seasons on Detroit's practice squad after being cut by Miami, where he had entered the NFL as a rookie free agent in 1998.'

Marker Texans unlikely to help teams looking to unload salaries [2:05 PM]
CNN/SI reports: No one believes Carolina will ever pay Sean Gilbert the $10 million he's scheduled to make or that Rob Johnson will ever see the $11 million his contract calls for.

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