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Buffalo Bills News - February 27, 2002

Marker It's time for Bills to sack Johnson [5:30 AM]
D and C reports: 'History will not judge Rob's time here kindly.'

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February 26, 2002

Marker AFC East: Free agency breakdown [8:17 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: @ Cowart's and Johnson's contracts have issues related to their injures. Beyond those two problems, the Bills shouldn't have much competition for most of their remaining free agents. Bills observers believe the remaining UFAs shouldn't receive too much attention on the market, and the Bills certainly would like to have Conaty and [Shawn] Price back for their leadership qualities.

Marker Wilson or Butler responsible for overspending? [4:58 PM]
Profootballtalk reports: @ Butler's decision [on a five-year, $15 million contract for fast-but-frail receiver/returner Tim Dwight] also is raising questions as to whether past spending sprees in Buffalo genuinely can be attributed to owner Ralph Wilson?s zeal for a Super Bowl title. Really, Butler?s over-the-top deal for Dwight makes Rob Johnson?s money-for-nothing seem downright reasonable.

Marker Staticreative Design Studio awarded contract [3:57 PM]
Buffalo Business Journal reports: @ Staticreative Design Studio was awarded the Camp Good Days & Special Times account for 2002, and will create media kits for A Kickin' Campout With Christie, a June 22 Camp Good Days event honoring Buffalo Bills alumnus Steve Christie.

Marker Connversation with Booker Edgerson, Kemp's right hand man [3:54 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: @ He is now the assistant deputy commissioner for New York State Park and is STILL a die-hard Bills fan.

Marker Poor Planning has resulted in combine and free agency starting at the same time [12:13 PM]
ESPN reports: @ "In my opinion, it's poor planning, because it's really taxed everyone," said Buffalo Bills general manager Tom Donahoe. "I'm sure it probably has something to do with the collective bargaining agreement, but I'd still prefer they move free agency back a couple weeks, because we'd still be able to get everything accomplished."

Marker From Buffalo Bill Safety to Superman [12:01 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: @ Dean Cain was a rookie free agent out of Princeton in 1988. He choose to try out for the Bills because Kelso had a head injuries previous year, knew that with Marv Levy's system, he would get the chance to play in the preseason and prove himself.
Unfortunately an old knee injury forced him to have surgery before his first preseason game but Marv Levy told him to return next year. Cain's injury turned out to be worse than expected. The knee never completely healed, so he had to retire.
As Cain became famous, his former coach Marv Levy came up with one of his best-ever lines. One week, the Bills were getting ready to face an opponent that someone in the media had called a "superteam." "How many of you remember Dean Cain?" Levy asked his players in the locker room. A few guys raised their hands. "Well," Levy said, "we CUT Superman!"

Marker Veteran Bishop is all but resigned to leaving [10:49 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'Should the Titans release Bishop, the expansion Houston Texans and the Buffalo Bills are his most likely landing spots. Buffalo Coach Gregg Williams, who spent 11 years with the Titans/Oilers, has called Bishop ''one of my favorite players, an absolute warrior,'' while ex-Titans secondary coach Jerry Gray is now the Bills' defensive coordinator. Buffalo also runs much the same defensive scheme as the Titans do.'

Marker Cowart, Bills still talking near deadline [9:14 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Cowart has had two agents involved in talks with the Bills. But during the past several days Paul Healy, who based in Jacksonville, Fla., has taken over full responsibility for negotiating the contract.'

February 25, 2002

Marker Sam Cowart - one of twenty free agents to watch for [8:29 PM]
CNN/SI reports: Sam Cowart, Buffalo, LB -- If this were a year ago, and Cowart was coming off his Pro Bowl season of 2000, he'd be one of the more coveted names in free agency. But injuries have cost Cowart 19 of his team's past 20 games, and players who have snapped an Achilles' tendon are not the safest of bets.

Marker Once a Bill, Always a Bill [5:43 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Joni Graham, Alumni Relations Coordinator, talks about her department and tells about recent visit to the Veterans Hospital with Ernie Warlick and seven other ex-Bills.

Marker Currrent 2002 Buffalo Bills Salary Cap Status $-6,700,000 [3:05 PM]
ESPN reports: Tied for Seventh best with Cleveland Browns after Houston Texans (-18,600,000), Arizona Cardinals (-16,400,000), Chicago Bears (-10,280,000), Minnesota Vikings (-8,300,000), Cincinnati Bengals (-8,200,000), and Philadelphia Eagles (-7,600,000).

Marker ESPN's Clayton lists possible salary cap savings cut list [2:23 PM]
ESPN reports: QB Rob Johnson $6.15 million, CB Ken Irvin $1.9 million, DE Phil Hansen $2.6 million (retired), LT John Fina $3 million (will be released in June)

Marker Buffalo Bills QB Rob Johnson to be guest on [12:43 PM]
ESN reports: With decision on his future as the Bills QB expected soon, Johnson will appear as a guest on "The Best Damn Sports Show Period" on Wed, Feb. 27 at 11:00 on ESN

Marker Bills start tendering offers to free agents [8:08 AM]
WGR reports: Bills have begun the process of keeping restricted and exclusive rights free agents by tendering offers of $563,000 to restricted free agents Shawn Bryson, Jay Foreman, and Sheldon Jackson. The players have until April 15th to sign the tender offer.

Marker Bills Alumni annual events [7:59 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Buffalo Bills announcement of planned Alumni events.

February 24, 2002

Marker Bills have options galore in planning for draft day [9:23 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The mock drafts have the Bills taking Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington, Miami offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, Oklahoma safety Roy Williams and Texas offensive tackle Mike Williams.'

Marker Titans' Bishop could reunite with Williams as Bills think safety first [9:22 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Safety Blaine Bishop is likely to get cut by the Tennessee Titans before the free agency season opens Friday. Look for him to reunite with his former coach, the Bills' Gregg Williams.'

Marker Cowart and Bills Soon to Part Company [1:32 AM]
WGRZ reports: 'Ch2 Sports has learned that unless there is a drastic change of heart from Burrough, which is unlikely, the Bills will take their latest offer off the table March 1st when Cowart becomes a free agent. So Cowart then won't have the strength of having a standing offer to compare against others he may or may not receive.'

Marker Jim Kelly will be at Eastview Mall [12:04 AM]
The Stadium Wall reports: 'Just wanted to let all of you know that Jim Kelly will be at Eastview Mall in Victor NY on March 6th from 6-8pm. He will be signing the Hunter's Hope Bears only and they have to be purchased that night. NO MEMORABILIA will be signed at all. The bears are $20 and he actually signs the hag tag on the candle. Would love to meet any of the TBDers as I will be running this event.'

February 23, 2002

Marker Wegmans breaks ties with Bills but not with Golf [9:49 PM]
Buffalo Business Journal reports: @ Wegmans does have its name tied to another sports event. The grocer is the major sponsor of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) event held each year in Rochester.

"We plan to continue our sponsorship of the LPGA, which to our way of thinking is more of a community event in Rochester than a marketing initiative," said Natale. "Proceeds from that tournament are a primary source of funding for the Rotary camps in Rochester which are very important to our community."

Marker Buffalo Bills Free Agency Preview [9:39 PM]
SportsNetwork reports: The club would like to re-sign starting center Bill Conaty (UFA). However, there is no guarantee that LB Sam Cowart will be back. With Cowart poised to draw a lot of attention on the open market, the club will protect its linebacking corps by re-signing RFA Keith Newman. Cowart, who has missed 19 games over the past two seasons, could be replaced by another free agent like Pittsburgh's Earl Holmes.

Marker Tom Donahoe speaks with Buffalo Blue Coats [8:03 PM]
TSW reports: @ Jack in Syracuse, Buffalo Bills resident Blue Coat, reports on meeting with Tom Donahoe.

Marker Interview with Ralph Wilson [5:32 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: @ Q: How long do you see the team in a rebuilding mode? How long before our salary cap woes are under control? A: The Bills will be out of salary cap trouble in 2002 and I see a bright future for us commencing in 2003 but we are definitely no longer going to get ourselves in cap trouble that has occurred in the last two or three years.

Marker NFL coaching salaries soar [5:20 PM]
MSNBC reports: @When Marv Levy made the jump from head coach at William & Mary to assistant coach for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1969, he was thrilled with the $1,000 raise that pushed his salary to $17,000. When he was named head coach of the Buffalo Bills 15 years ago, he negotiated his own deal for $200,000, and in 96, his last season before retiring, he still was making less than $1 million, even after taking his team to four straight Super Bowls

Marker Donahoe doesn't play tag with Cowart [9:33 AM]
ESN reports: @When the time arrived for teams to designate franchise and transition players, the game of tag was not played by Donahoe. No franchise tag; no transition tag. No agreement is in sight and, as has been the case over the past couple of years, Bills fans are getting a little edgy as to what's going on. Bottom line? Cowart is ready to enter the free agent market since it doesn't seem likely that the two sides will budge. Of course, everything said before the March 1st free agency kicks in is rhetoric, posturing and positioning.

Marker Don't get me started on Sam Cowart and the Buffalo Bills [9:25 AM]
ESN reports: @There's a stalemate between Cowart and the Bills. Who is right? Who is Wrong? Will they ever get together or will next week arrive and the headline will read - "Sam Cowart tests free agency." Both sides are peppering the media. Cowart: "I want to stay and play in Buffalo." Donahoe: "We want Sam Cowart to play with the Buffalo Bills."

Marker Gregg Williams - ready for the challenge [8:26 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: @If you browse around the Internet (i.e. The Stadium Wall), you will read that the Buffalo Bills are in a sticky situation. A team too young, a coaching staff unproven. You can call it criticism or, if you take the approach of a guy like Gregg Williams, you can call it a challenge.

Marker Wegmans choice may be new turf over Bills [7:12 AM]
D and C reports: '"Wegmans is close to reaching sales and market share saturation in New York state, so the reinvestment opportunities are probably better in the new states," he said.'

February 22, 2002

Marker Close but no tag [11:12 PM]
ESPN reports: One player who didn't get a "franchise" or "transition" tag Thursday, but came close, was Buffalo LB Sam Cowart. The team worked hard on trying to cut a deal with his agent and thought seriously about "tagging" Cowart, then backed off.

The free agent market isn't going to be strong in general, and specifically for a player like Cowart, who played in just one game in 2001 and is coming off an Achilles injury.

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09/07 @ Chicago Bears 1:00 pm
09/14 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
09/21 San Diego Chargers 1:00 pm
09/28 @ Houston Texans 1:00 pm
10/05 @ Detroit Lions 1:00 pm
10/12 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/19 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 pm
10/26 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/09 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
11/13 @ Miami Dolphins 8:25 pm
11/23 New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/30 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/07 @ Denver Broncos 4:05 pm
12/14 Green Bay Packers 1:00 pm
12/21 @ Oakland Raiders 4:25 pm
12/28 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm

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