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Buffalo Bills News - December 23, 2000

Marker Capsule preview: Seahawks vs. Bills [8:00 AM]
Seattle Times reports: 'Guard Ruben Brown was selected to his fifth straight Pro Bowl. Only Bill legends Bruce Smith (11), Andre Reed (7) and Steve Tasker (6) have earned more total Pro Bowl selections than Brown, a team captain this season.'

Marker Holmgren plans another overhaul [7:57 AM]
Olympia Olympian reports: 'There is a very real possibility that the Seahawks' leading passer (Jon Kitna), receiver (Sean Dawkins) and rusher (Ricky Watters) could be gone after the season. Kitna is a free agent whom Holmgren is not expected to re-sign, while Dawkins and Watters might be let go in cost-cutting moves.'

Marker Seahawks game preview [7:56 AM]
Olympia Olympian reports: 'Pick: Bills, 27-20.'

Marker Bills at Seahawks [7:55 AM]
Spokane Spokesman Review reports: 'Buffalo has lost four straight. Make it five. Seattle 27, Bills 20.'

Marker Butler move is good for Bills [7:54 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'The Bills are a club that is stagnating right now. They finally made it back to the playoffs last season, but fell short of that mark this season, although injuries on defense can be argued as their downfall. But when you look closer, this is a franchise that needs to move in a positive direction.'

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December 22, 2000

Marker The Seahawks' opponent this week: Buffalo Bills [5:29 PM]
Tacoma News Tribune reports: 'After defeating Tennessee in the opener, the highlight was a midseason stretch that saw the Bills go 4-0, winning three on the road. ... The lowlight was a 33-6 defeat to the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 3, the second game in the Bills' current four-game skid.'

Marker Salary cap could lead to Flutie's farewell [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills are about $10 million over the projected cap for next season, according to News estimates. They will need to clear that much salary room and then more in order to try to sign soon-to-be free agents Eric Moulds and Marcellus Wiley.'

Marker Flutie says he'd like to stay [8:28 AM]
D and C reports: 'It would cost the Bills a $4.5 million salary cap hit to dump Flutie, and that figure rises to $6.5 million to dump Johnson. It's financial suicide, and Flutie doesn't see it happening.'

Marker GM Butler spurns Bills' lucrative bids [8:27 AM]
USA Today reports: 'During the last year of his contract, Butler kept hearing from other general managers and agents that he was grossly underpaid.'

Marker Wasting time? [8:25 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'The defense rests. So should Spanos. He should stop his search for a general manager before it begins. He should do what's best for his team and what's right for his organization. He should hire John Butler. Now.'

December 21, 2000

Marker Wiley's season has gone from tears to joy [8:33 PM]
AP reports: 'While his back is still not fully healed, his mind is at ease. In his last seven games, Wiley has been in on 57 tackles, including a career-high 17 against New England, and recorded 7 1/2 sacks.'

Marker Courting Mr. Butler [8:29 PM]
Fox Sports reports: '"It's been said I was looking to get out," said Butler, "but that's totally incorrect. My contract expired Feb. 28; two days later free agency starts. Most clubs have to have people in place and prepared the minute free agency opens. There wasn't going to be any type of advantage for me."'

Marker The secret diaries of Doug Flutie: I'm short and I'm good [1:52 PM]
St. Catharines Standard reports: 'Arrogant. Can you believe that? I know I'm good. I know I'm pretty. And, OK, maybe I shouldn't have told all that stuff to that Sports Illustrated guy about Mushhead (Mushhead -- heh, heh, heh, I kinda like that one), but that doesn't mean I'm arrogant.'

Marker Wilson ups the ante on performance [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's always been my practice just to go out and play no matter what," linebacker John Holecek said. "But, obviously, when you have something like this, you have the added pressure, people are going to be looking over their shoulders. And damn right they should be playing hard."'

Marker Wilson's ax just might swing again [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'One thing Wade is advised not to do on the flight to Seattle or the return trip to Buffalo is make a goal-line stand to keep his coaching staff intact.'

Marker Phillips says strong finish still the goal [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We play to win. That's what we've done all along, and that's what we're going to do this week."'

Marker Sacking the general manager [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'With a San Diego job reportedly his for the asking and his stock extremely high in football circles, who can blame Butler for wanting to test the post-season market to see what he's worth? It's not a good idea, though, to ignore the boss.'

Marker One more song for Flutie [7:47 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'With the John Butler era in Buffalo officially over, the final chapter of the Doug Flutie saga might soon be written as well.'

Marker Phillips dances the soft shoe [7:46 AM]
Toronto Star reports: '"My focus this week is on this ballgame," said Phillips, who is rumoured to be next in line for owner Ralph Wilson Jr.'s axe after Buffalo wraps up the regular season in Seattle on Saturday night at Husky Stadium.'

Marker Bills have tough road to victory [6:41 AM]
Seattle Times reports: 'They are traveling cross country to play the Seahawks in a game that has none of the meaning Phillips had hoped it would have. But jobs for 2001, including his, are at risk.'

Marker 'If I can't hire you, I'll fire you' [6:36 AM]
CNN/SI reports: 'But the facts are these: Wilson's contract offers weren't competitive.'

Marker 'Tis the season to be jittery [6:32 AM]
D and C reports: 'Now that he's going [to Seattle this weekend], rumors are running rampant that Wilson may decide -- based on what happens in Seattle -- Phillips' future this weekend.'

Marker A Levy-Butler reunion not far-fetched [6:31 AM]
D and C reports: '"I had an excellent working relationship with John, just as I had a great working relationship with his predecessor, Bill Polian," Levy said when asked about that scenario. "I have great regard for John. Yes, that would be a desirable situation, but I don't even want to speculate about that."'

Marker Bills' new GM faces major problems with cap, offense [6:29 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills reportedly will be $11 million over the adjusted salary cap for 2001 and will have to pay big money to retain free agents Eric Moulds and Marcellus Wiley. The team will have to cut several high-priced veterans and is unlikely to have any money to attract any significant free agents.'

Marker Butler interested if Chargers hire a GM [6:29 AM]
AP reports: 'When asked about the speculation that he would be courted by other teams, specifically the Chargers, Butler said: "I didn't even have a chance to think about anything besides the Buffalo Bills. They were my team for 14 years."'

Marker Butler's dismissal raises serious questions for Bills [6:27 AM]
AP reports: 'A month ago, the Bills were 7-4 and in the thick of the playoff hunt. They've since lost four straight for the first time in 15 years, been decimated by injuries, and are playing out the season in a mean-nothing game at Seattle.'

December 20, 2000

Marker Buffaloed [10:44 PM]
ESPNet reports: 'After four Super Bowls, 15 seasons and 941 catches in Buffalo, this is what the once-magical hands of Andre Reed have been reduced to. And each time a picture of Reed in a Bills uniform slides into his hand, it seems to make him a little sad.'

Marker Is Butler on call for Chargers' GM job? [1:32 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Chargers president Dean Spanos has said he would consider hiring a new general manager if the right man became available. That might have happened yesterday.'

Marker Bills' ex-boss has large appetite for winning [1:31 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '"He had heard the Chargers were holding a job open for Butler," said the source, "and when Ralph gets ticked off, he lashes out."'

Marker Butler won't be easily replaced [1:29 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'The owner, two more losses removed from those comments, conceded, "As far as Wade and the coaching staff is concerned, I'm here to talk about John Butler ... so I'd rather not comment." That's hardly a vote of confidence.'

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