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Buffalo Bills News - March 16, 2004

Marker Vincent accepts offer from Bills [5:10 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: '"It's not a negative for us," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said in a radio interview of losing Vincent. "It's a decision he had to make for himself and his family."'

Marker Volek Nearing Decision [5:09 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'The Bengals have targeted the defensive secondary as an area of need this offseason, and Vincent, who turns 33 in June, was highest on their wish list. Taylor, 30, despite missing 10 weeks last season with a strained foot suffered in the season opener, wasn't far behind. He has a trip set to visit Washington on Thursday and is still contemplating taking a look at Dallas.'

Marker Chiefs lose Vincent in shuffle [5:09 AM]
Kansas City Star reports: 'Vincent also might have simply accepted the best financial offer. Financial terms of the Bills' contract and the Chiefs' offer were unavailable, but Vermeil said last week Vincent would have competed with Eric Warfield and Dexter McCleon for a starting job, indicating the Chiefs may not have offered starter's money.'

Marker Volek nearing decision [5:09 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'The Bills, who also wrapped up a deal with free agent cornerback Troy Vincent yesterday, were a late entry in the negotiations for Volek, but they were serious enough to have contacted Staninger at least three times yesterday.'

Marker Johnson enters picture as Volek saga continues [5:08 AM]
Nashville City Paper reports: 'As for Volek, who has a three-year offer on the table from the Falcons, agent Ken Staninger told The City Paper that only Tennessee and Atlanta had made proposals to his client.'

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March 15, 2004

Marker Agent: CB Vincent agrees to terms with Bills [9:09 PM]
AP reports: 'Vincent's agent Linda Bodley told The Associated Press her free-agent client agreed to a six-year deal, choosing Buffalo ahead of two other teams -- Cincinnati and Kansas City -- that had courted him. ``He's relieved that he's finally made a decision,'' Bodley said. ``And with any of the three teams he couldn't go wrong. He's very pleased.'''

Marker Bills pick up C Teague's $2 million bonus option [5:45 PM]
AP reports: 'Barring an offseason move, Teague will continue centering a line that is bookended by emerging tackles Mike Williams and Jonas Jennings. The Bills bolstered their right guard position by signing Chris Villarrial earlier this month.'

Marker Cornerback spurns offers from Bengals, Chiefs [5:15 PM]
ESPN reports: 'Vincent, a five-time Pro Bowl player and until Monday arguably the premier defender still available in free agency, chose the Bills over proposals made by the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs. He considered the offers during the weekend and after visiting with the Chiefs coaches and officials last week, and had promised all a decision by Monday.'

Marker Center gets $2 million option bonus [4:59 PM]
ESPN reports: The Bills picked up the two-year option on center Trey Teague, giving him a $2 million option bonus. Teague is now signed through the 2005 season. By picking up the option, the Bills are retaining the final two years and $5.75 million of his contract.

Marker Titans Backup QB Pops In [3:04 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'He stopped into town as part of his free agency tour, but left early Monday.'

Marker Vincent to join Bills [3:03 PM]
ComcastSportsnet.com reports: 'The deal, expected to be for six years and $20 million, including a $3.6 million bonus, should be announced shortly.'

Marker Free Agent QB Billy Volek Visits Bills [3:01 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Once a starter over a younger David Carr at Fresno State, Volek has indicated that he would like to land a starting job or be in position to take over as a starter at some point in the future. He has reportedly visited the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos and the Green Bay Packers in addition to talking with the Titans about staying in Tennessee.'

Marker Quarterback Volek visits with Bills [3:00 PM]
AP reports: 'Volek did not make himself available to the media following his visit, and the Bills did not comment other than to say that he arrived in Buffalo on Sunday and met with the team's coaches and management.'

Marker Free Agent Visitor: QB Billy Volek [11:35 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The Titans signed Volek as an undrafted free agent on April 18, 2000

Marker A Look Back: Buffalo Bills 2002 Draft Day Grades [11:34 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"Since the day I watched Bryant McKinnie make mincemeat out of Dwight Freeney in a Miami-Syracuse game last fall, I thought McKinnie was the type of franchise tackle any team would love. I don't think Mike Williams is as good, though he's certainly a good player. But to get Bledsoe for next year's No. 1 -- that makes the weekend worthwhile. It's true that Bledsoe over the past four seasons has morphed into an everyday quarterback, but that's better than the Bills had. Now, with Bledsoe and Alex Van Pelt under center, the Bills should be at least a 9-7 team this fall."'

Marker Wire learns on the job [11:33 AM]
Harrisburg Patriot News reports: "The acquisition of Lawyer was a shock at first," Wire said. "I was really looking forward to the season because I felt I really improved from my first season playing defensive back."

Marker Bills not only team to pass on Henson [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Despite all of the positive comments coming out of Henson’s workout-audition for 20 NFL teams, the best the Houston Texans could get for him was a third-round pick in the 2005 draft from the Dallas Cowboys. That means Buffalo could have had him for the No. 43 pick in next month’s draft but decided he wasn’t worth it.'

Marker Inside slant [5:15 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Buffalo would love to land Vincent, a five-time Pro Bowler who at age 32 hasn't lost much. He'd replace Winfield and add tons of leadership. However, the Cincinnati Bengals, after clearing $4-5 million in cap space after releasing ex-Bill Jeff Burris, were in the driver's seat for Vincent as the weekend approached. Vincent played for Bengals defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier in Philadelphia. Carolina and Kansas City are also in the running for Vincent.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [5:14 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Defensive end - Bills pass rush was spotty, despite Aaron Schobel's 11.5 sacks, helping to explain their NFL-low 18 takeaways. Team has spent second-round picks on Ryan Denney and Chris Kelsay the past two seasons with very little return so far.'

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [5:13 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills may regret not going after rising young receiver Justin McCareins of Tennessee, a restricted free agent the rival New York Jets picked up in a trade for a second-round pick. McCareins averaged 17 yards per catch last season and is a rising deep threat, something Buffalo needs. Now the Bills will have to face him twice a season.'

Marker Is it McGahee's time to shine? [5:12 AM]
NY Football Digest reports: 'In my opinion, Willis McGahee needs to prove he can handle the every day grind of being a professional running back. If he makes it through mini-camp and the exhibition season unhurt, he could be a major factor for the Bills this year. I do believe it is McGahee’s time to shine. The only question is, will he take the opportunity and run with it.'

March 14, 2004

Marker Notes: Still some meat left on those free-agent scraps [11:17 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: The Bills got the best bargain guard, Chris Villarrial, the former Bear who might be the best of the three. He got a four-year deal that averages $2.82 million, which is relatively mild compared to the other two deals. But even $2.8 million is a lot to pay for a guard. They should be developed, not acquired in free agency. And if you do want a veteran, sign that player to a two or three-year deal with a minimal signing bonus and an average of about $1 to $1.5 million. They're guards after all.

Marker 2004 Free Agency [10:57 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 2004 Players Signed: Chris Villarrial; 2003 Players lost: Ruben Brown, Sam Gash, Keith McKenzie, Dave Moore, Sammy Morris, DaShon Polk, Dainon Sidney, Antoine Winfield

Marker Prudence needed if Donahoe is to keep Bills on path to success [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But the Bills have been reluctant, and wisely so, to overpay for the sake of quickly closing the deal. Signing the best player available to an excessive pact, becoming a buyer in an overinflated market, amounts to compromising the future for the benefit of immediate gratification.'

Marker Pats winning streak over [6:01 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'In Buffalo, the Bills have decided to follow the Patriots' approach to free agency. They released Pro Bowl guard Ruben Brown and didn't make an offer to retain corner Antoine Winfield because they were no longer ``value players.'' They were both solid starters, but neither played to the level of his contract. Off they went. Brown, still unsigned, was scheduled to count $5.8 million on the Bills' salary cap. Winfield signed with Minnesota for $35 million over six years, including a $10.8 million signing bonus. Replacing Winfield will be difficult because he did play well. But with only one interception in the last 37 games, the Bills felt that their money could be better used in other areas.'

March 13, 2004

Marker Bills in holding pattern [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Many general managers and coaches are attending college pro days — Ohio State showcased its potential draft picks on Friday — making the signing of free agents at this point an exercise in creative scheduling.'

Marker Some notes on the Hawks and the Bills [5:15 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Several fullbacks have auditioned in Orchard Park as it appears Buffalo won’t re-sign 35-year-old Sam Gash. And the Bills’ interest in quarterback Drew Henson and, to a lesser extent, Tennessee’s Billy Volek, has been well-documented. Clearly the NFL minimum for a 10-year veteran is way too much money for a soon-to-be 34-year-old journeyman, no matter how popular he is in the lockerroom.'

Marker Dolphins add tackle and fullback [5:14 AM]
AP reports: 'Morris, who played his first four NFL seasons in Buffalo, will back up Rob Konrad and play on special teams.'

Marker Dolphins sign free agent FB Morris, OT St. Clair [5:13 AM]
Sportsticker reports: '"Sammy Morris adds several different dimensions to our backfield, having played fullback, halfback and serving as the third-down back," Dolphins general manager Rick Spielman said. "He was a leader on the Bills' special teams unit the last few seasons and was their captain, and we expect that he will have the same impact with our team."'

March 12, 2004

Marker Dolphins hope to bring in Boston in by Monday [4:52 PM]
ESPN reports: 'Morris, 26, is a solid reserve back who can also return kickoffs. He signed a two-year deal, details of which were not immediately known, after also being courted by Cleveland and New England. The former Texas Tech star was a fifth-round choice of the Buffalo Bills in 2000. He played well as a rookie, then was buried on the depth chart, as the Bills brought in several other tailbacks.'

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