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Buffalo Bills News - February 15, 2001

Marker Buffalo Bills Free Agent List '01-'03 [12:36 PM]
TBD reports: 'We all know who the free agents are this season, but take a look into the future to see whhich players will be hitting the market in 2002 and 2003.'

Marker Chat with Ralph Wilson today [12:34 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: ' Join us Thursday, Feb. 15 at 3:00 p.m. ET for a live online chat with Bills Owner Ralph Wilson! To chat with Ralph, all you have to do is register a free user account. If you're already registered, just login to the chat room anytime during the event!'

Marker 2001 Salary Cap Numbers [12:21 PM]
TBD reports: 'Free agency is just two weeks away, but teams are scrambling to get players in under the $67.4 million salary cap. The Bill are $12,744,000 over the cap and are in one of the worst financial positions in the league. Here is a list of how each team currently stands in relation to the 2001 salary cap.'

Marker 2000 Salary Cap Numbers [12:20 PM]
TBD reports: 'The accountants have closed the books on the 2000 season and the final numbers are in. The New York Giants went to the Super Bowl last season with the third-lowest payroll in the league - $57.3 million. The Washington Redskins, however, spent the postseason at home with a bloated $92.4 million payroll, the most in the league.'

Marker Agent says Moulds deal is done [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Wide receiver Eric Moulds and the Buffalo Bills have come to terms on a new contract, The Buffalo News has learned. Greg Johnson, one of Moulds' New Orleans-based agents, said Wednesday night there are a few details that need to be worked out regarding incentives.'

Marker Pompei: Doug Flutie is on his way out [8:44 AM]
The Sporting News reports: [NOTE: Bills are also on front page of Sporting News as well] Here is a look at some of the best players who are vulnerable to getting released:

QB Doug Flutie, Bills. The Bills can't afford to keep both Flutie and Rob Johnson, so it is likely they will chose to keep the 27-year-old instead of the 38-year-old. Even though Flutie was a better player last year, it's hard to argue against keeping Johnson.

RB Antowain Smith, Bills. This former first-round pick fell out of favor with the old regime. If the new regime doesn't think more of him, Smith will be a cap casualty.

Marker Moulds set to sign [5:56 AM]
D and C reports: 'Unless something unforeseen happens during last-minute negotiations, wide receiver Eric Moulds will sign a new contract with the Buffalo Bills today.'

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February 14, 2001

Marker ESPN - Hodge on Thurman as "factor back" [6:37 PM]
ESPN reports: 'Any synopsis of Thurman would be incomplete, but Hodge pays Thurman the homage he deserves.'

Marker Agent: Thurman Thomas to retire with Bills [1:22 PM]
AP reports: 'Thomas will finish his career with 12,074 yards rushing, ninth on the all-time list and just 46 yards behind Franco Harris. Thomas also is sixth in all-purpose yards.'

Marker Bills bring in a new staff of teachers [1:17 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Eight of Williams' assistants - including three who followed him from Tennessee and two holdovers from Wade Phillips' staff - have had previous NFL coaching experience. However, the other four..Miles Aldridge...Fred Graves...Tommy Kaiser...and Steve Kragthorpe...all developed sparkling reputations as teachers on the collegiate level.'

Marker The Buffalo Guy [11:29 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '...as he goes riding into the sunset this week after five decades of service to Buffalo journalism. He [Larry Felser] has been synonymous with Bills coverage since Day One. I wish him the best in his retirement.'

Marker Fields of Gray - Williams hires ex-Titans DB coach as DC [11:19 AM]
AP reports: 'Jerry Gray has been involved with enough good NFL defenses to understand the special challenge he faces as the Buffalo Bills' new defensive coordinator.'

Marker Vikings' Chris Walsh serving sentence in Arizona's "Tent City" [11:12 AM]
Star Tribune reports: 'Inmates work on chain gangs, eat ostrich casserole, among other menu items, and are prohibited from drinking coffee. Troublemakers are fed bread-and-water diets as part of Arpaio's deterrence program. The average meal at Tent City costs 45 cents to provide, according to Arpaio.

'Arpaio also has installed Web cameras throughout the jail. Internet users can view inmate activity at http://www.mcso.org. [No Bills Content]'

Marker Kaiser takes coaching job in Buffalo [11:10 AM]
Stillwater NewsPress reports: 'A seven-year veteran of the Oklahoma State football coaching staff and athletics department administration, Tommy Kaiser, will leave Wednesday to join the staff of new Buffalo Bills head coach Greg Williams.'

Marker Gray takes over as Bills DC [11:08 AM]
Syracuse Online reports: 'While he plans to instill his aggressive get-after-the-ball philosophy, Gray is aware that he can't foul up what has consistently been one of the league's best defensive units since 1997.'

Marker Leaf hasn't even bothered meeting Butler & Smith [11:05 AM]
Union Tribune reports: 'John Butler & A.J. Smith, Buffalo's ex-head office team, have not even been introduced to Ryan Leaf, the poster child for spoiled players. Another reason why rumors keep flying about Rob Johnson or Doug Flutie going to San Diego keep appearing. Of course with with the Chargers having previously a 1-15 season, any moves made by Butler are going to look good.'

Marker No gray areas: Bills defense to attack [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills' new defensive coordinator, Jerry Gray, isn't ready to say he wants to re-create the defensive scheme he helped coach in Tennessee the past two years. But he definitely wants to re-create the results.'

Marker Thomas will retire as member of Bills [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Thurman Thomas plans to retire and will sign a one-day contract with Buffalo so he can leave the NFL as a Bill, his agent said Tuesday.'

Marker Dolphins' T. Thomas to retire -- in Buffalo [7:32 AM]
Miami Herald reports: '"His desire is to retire as a Buffalo Bill, after the long and successful career that he had there," Steinberg said. "That seems right to him."'

Marker Thomas to end career as a Bill [6:46 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: '"He would hope to play a few more years, but Thurman is very intelligent," Steinberg said. "He wants to go out on top and cap what should be a Hall of Fame career in the right way. Clearly pushing it to try and continue playing is not something he wants to do."'

Marker T. Thomas set to retire a Bill [6:44 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'But by waiving Thomas before March 1, the Dolphins save $100,000 due to a roster bonus Thomas was scheduled to receive.'

Marker Talks stall between Bills, Moulds [6:09 AM]
D and C reports: 'Greg Johnson, Moulds' New Orleans-based representative...characterized the talks as "at a standstill" but he remained confident that Moulds will be re-signing with the Bills well before the free agency signing period begins March 2.'

February 13, 2001

Marker Williams introduces his staff [10:25 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: On the defensive philosophy: "We're going to play the run with numbers and play the pass with speed." On the inexperience factor in the Bills special teams: "I'm not sure how big a factor the inexperience was. We're in the process of going through the tape and evaluating the problems."

Marker Bills hire Thomas as defensive backs coach [8:01 PM]
AP reports: 'The Buffalo Bills filled out their defensive staff by appointing Pat Thomas defensive backs coach on Tuesday amd Steve Jackson as a defensive assistant.'

Marker Bills agree to terms with Pat Thomas [7:01 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The 46-year old Thomas enters his eighth year coaching defensive backs in the NFL. He spent the past two years running his own business. His previous stops included the Colts (1994-97) and the Oilers (1990-92). He began his coaching career with the Houston Gamblers (USFL) in 1983 ...'

Marker A preview of fall changes from the new coaches [5:37 PM]
The Sporting News reports: 'By Yahoo Sports/The Sporting News/The Warroom
Fall changes in coaches may not bring everything their fans are expecting.

'Traditionally, Buffalo has been a 3-4 defensive team, but Williams won't stop there. He will run some 4-3 man and even more 4-6 zone. The Bills might get outplayed next season, but they won't be outschemed with Williams at the helm.'

Marker NFL Free Agency Summary of Buffalo Bills [1:33 PM]
NFLTalk.com reports: NFLTalk says that 'Flutie is willing to restructure (get more bonus money rather than salary) contract to lower number if he is named starting QB.'

Marker Seeking QB Canadian relief will be difficult [1:30 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Since there are not many NFL-caliber QBs available to draft this year, one
option for the Bills is to sign a CFL QB when Flutie or Johnson is cut. Unfortunately it is not as easy as it sounds for CFL players need to be signed by end of February and both hot prospects have no training camp experience hence money needs to come out of rookie pool.'

Marker Lots and lots of heart in Buffalo [8:58 AM]
USA Today reports: Nice article about the fine people of WNY: "This lovable rust-belt city is full of blue-collar guys of every ethnic background who get together on Sunday to watch the Bills and remove their shirts in 35-degree weather. (We) support everything from tractor pulls to the philharmonic -- and hardly any drive-by shootings..."

Marker Flutie is new favorite for QB job [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'I'd like to re-speculate. I think Johnson will be slipped the queen of spades and Flutie will be the starting quarterback for the 2001 season.'

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