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Buffalo Bills News - March 24, 2015

Marker NFL lifts blackout policy for 2015 [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The move seems to be an obvious response to the political pressure that has been placed on the NFL to abandon the blackout policy, especially for teams such as the Bills, who have one of the larger stadiums in the league that is more difficult to sell out than others. The Bills had no blackouts in 2014 and one in 2013, although local blackouts were more frequent in earlier years.'

Marker Committee proposes ‘medical timeout’ [1:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It gives independent injury spotters the chance to stop the game before checking a player who might be showing signs of a concussion.'

Marker NFL owners vote to suspend blackout rule for 2015 [1:56 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"We definitely have a stronger crowd when the Bills are on," said Matt Gleason, a manager at The Distillery. "We always receive calls in regards to whether we're showing it (if games were blacked out, which they could not). I'm sure it will help us out. Last year was nice because they had a winning record and didn't have any blackouts."'

Marker Bills and Browns will scrimmage at 2015 training camp at St. John Fisher, play preseason game in Cle [1:55 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'The practices will provide no shortage of storylines, as Bills coach Rex Ryan and Browns coach Mike Pettine have a long history with one another. They coached together from 2002-2008 as part of the Baltimore Ravens' staff before Ryan took the head coaching job with the Jets and named Pettine his defensive coordinator. Pettine left to become the defensive coordinator in Buffalo for the 2013 season before landing the Browns job.'

Marker Buffalo Bills vs. Jacksonville Jaguars in London will be streamed online, aired on TV in local marke [1:54 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'The Bills and Jaguars are scheduled to kickoff at 9:30 a.m. at Wembley Stadium in London on Oct. 25.'

Marker Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills to scrimmage during training camp in New York [1:53 AM]
Cleveland Plain Dealer reports: 'Pettine and Ryan came up with the idea to revive the Browns-Bills training camp clash, which also took place in the early 2000s under former Brown coach Butch Davis. The Browns traveled to St. John Fisher back then, but also practiced with the Bills in Berea, Ohio and at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania.'

Marker Clay’s agent was ready to negotiate long-term deal with Dolphins [1:52 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'According to a Dolphins source, Miami felt safe Clay would return because before free agency, his agent was trying to negotiate a long-term deal with Miami for $6.8 million a year and $13.8 million over the first two years.'

Marker Buffalo Bills' Rex Ryan says he's not looking forward to first meeting with Jets, per repo [1:51 AM]
Newark Star-Ledger reports: 'This is well-worn territory for Ryan. He was asked about the very topic at his Bills introductory press conference back in January. Back then, he said he was more eager to take on the Patriots, the AFC East's top team, than the Jets.'

Marker NFL to Put One Game on Web TV Only [1:50 AM]
Wall Street Journal reports: 'Under the experiment, a week 7 matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars—two National Football League teams struggling for relevance—will remain on over-the-air television in the teams’ home markets but will be put up for bidding among nationally digital platforms.'

Marker NFL suspending TV blackouts for 2015 season [1:49 AM]
AP reports: '"This decision to suspend the blackout policy for the upcoming NFL season is a victory for the millions of sports fans and consumers across the country," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), "and it brings us one step closer to eliminating this anti-fan measure once and for all. This antiquated, anti-consumer rule has for too long served only to protect the NFL's bottom line at the expense of sports fans.'

Marker NFL first: Bills-Jags London tilt to be available digitally [1:48 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'It will be the first time in NFL history that a national regular season matchup will be shown on a platform other than a television network. The Bills and Jaguars will kick off in London at 9:30 am.'

Marker Bills building a better offense [1:47 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Clay brings a number of assets to the Bills including sure hands. According to Pro Football Focus, Clay had only two drops out of 60 catchable balls thrown his way last season, the fifth lowest drop rate among tight ends. Once he got the ball, again according to PFF, Clay made 12 defenders miss tackles which was also fifth best in the NFL. The Bills are hoping Clay will provide matchup problems where he will be too fast for a linebacker stay with and too big for a cornerback to cover.'

Marker NFL suspends blackout policy for 2015 [1:46 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The league recently softened the policy, allowing teams to choose the ticket sale percentage barrier that fans must cross to avoid a blackout. Teams could choose anywhere from 85-to-100 percent, and the Bills chose to keep it at the 100 marker.'

Marker Buffalo Bills' beefed-up offense poised to power playoff run [1:45 AM]
NFL.com reports: 'From a two-back run game perspective, the addition of Jerome Felton gives Roman the flexibility to incorporate some power plays from a variety of heavy or jumbo sets, with McCoy aligned at tailback. During Felton's time with the Vikings, the hammerhead fullback paved the way for Adrian Peterson with his aggressive blocking at the point of attack. He uprooted linebackers out of the hole and routinely sealed the backside on cut-back runs for Peterson. Felton will have an opportunity to do the same for McCoy when Roman employs the two-back power running game from tight formations. Given McCoy's previous success finding creases in traffic, providing him with a lead blocker could produce fireworks for the Bills.'

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March 23, 2015

Marker Rex Ryan has already moved on from Jets, still obsessed with Bill Belichick and Patriots [1:14 PM]
New York Daily News reports: 'So, are you looking forward to the first meeting with the Jets next season? “No,” he said. “I’m looking to the first time I play New England, like always.”'

Marker Combine gives vets last shot at dream [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'You remember Troup, don’t you? Second-round pick of the Buffalo Bills from Central Florida in 2010. The guy the Bills selected instead of Rob Gronkowski, the All-World tight end who was taken by New England one spot later.'

Marker Report: Bills/Steelers scrimmage halted; Browns potential replacement [1:58 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'According to the report, the Steelers participation in this year’s Hall of Fame Game, thus having an extra preseason game, is one of the reasons for the cancelation.'

Marker How Buffalo’s additions impact the offense [1:57 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Though Roman’s offensive looks are greatly varied in alignment and personnel groupings, in an ideal world a lot of the same players will remain on the field down after down and series after series. To do that an offense needs versatile players who can serve in a multitude of roles.'

March 22, 2015

Marker Marcell Dareus has big booster in Buffalo Bills teammate Kyle Williams [4:18 PM]
Birmingham News reports: '"We've been lucky the last couple of years," Kyle Williams said. "We've had three of our four defensive linemen at the Pro Bowl. Bringing in (Dareus) was great. I love Marcell. Marcell's got as much talent as anybody in the NFL. I think you're starting to realize that. He's going to have a great career if he continues to do the things that he's been doing. Whether I'm with him in Buffalo for a lot more years or just a couple more or I'm at home, I'm going to be a Marcell fan."'

Marker Pursuers close in on Patriots in AFC East [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins appear to have improved through additions made since the NFL’s free-agent signing/trading period began nearly two weeks ago.'

March 21, 2015

Marker Defensive-minded Ryan turns his attention to the Bills’ offense [4:40 PM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“Percy is a guy that is an explosive athlete, he’s a super talent and what we’re trying to do is take a little pressure off Sammy Watkins as well,” said Ryan. “Sammy got doubled almost every snap. I think with a guy like Percy Harvin, that’s going to be tough for you to do. Percy can catch a slant and take it the distance, he can beat you over the top; he’s a game-breaker.”'

Marker Bills weighed signing tight end Gresham [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'According to an NFL source, the Bills also were giving serious thought to signing Jermaine Gresham before he underwent surgery Thursday to repair a herniated disc.'

Marker Bills coach Rex Ryan weighs in on Charles Clay, Percy Harvin and QB situation [1:58 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: '"He's real multiple in what you can do with him, so he creates matchup problems," Ryan said Friday. "He's too fast for a linebacker, he's too big for a corner to cover. You have to love that matchup with him. The other thing is he's a guy that's perfectly suited for what we're looking for, especially Greg Roman's type of offense.'

Marker Updated Buffalo Bills' team needs, salary cap situation after Charles Clay, Percy Harvin signin [1:57 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Right now, Spotrac.com has the Bills with just over $9.5 million in cap space. That includes the allotted money for their draft picks but does not include the contract for tight end Charles Clay. The average value of his contract is between $7 million and $8 million, but without knowing his signing bonus for 2015, his exact cap hit is still up in the air. That said, once it's factored in the Bills won't have much more room to make major moves without clearing space.'

Marker Ryan says Bills will 'run it 50 times if we can' [1:56 AM]
The Sports Xchange reports: '"We're not naive enough to think we're going to be able to get away with that," Ryan said of just running the ball. "We can spread you out and create some nightmares in coverage. If you want to stop our run by keeping all the big guys in there, then so be it, we'll be able to hurt you in a lot of different ways outside."'

March 20, 2015

Marker It’s official: Clay will join Bills [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The $24.5 million Clay will be paid through the first two years of the contract was seen as the primary obstacle to Miami’s ability to match.'

Marker Charles Clay headed to Bills after Miami backs off [1:58 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Reports indicate Clay will make $24.2 million in the first two years because the Bills purposely structured the contract to be front-loaded as that would make it difficult for the Dolphins to match given their current salary cap situation, particularly in 2016.'

Marker Dolphins will not match Buffalo Bills' offer sheet to Charles Clay, according to report [1:57 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Clay was a priority for the Bills this offseason, and they made that clear by offering him a contract the Dolphins would have trouble matching. The Bills will reportedly pay Clay more than $20 million in guaranteed money, making him one of three tight ends in the NFL to have more than $20 million guaranteed in his contract.'

Marker Ryan needs to recognize that Manuel's best work still to come [1:56 AM]
Erie Times News reports: 'Against that kind of unusual success, it's easy to forget that, at age 24, a lot of really good quarterbacks were still closer to being a hot mess than a hot commodity.'

Marker Dolphins lose Charles Clay to Bills, sign ex-Giants lineman J.D. Walton [1:55 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Miami elected to give Clay the transition designation instead of making him its franchise player, which would have cost just $1.2 million more and made it all but impossible for another team to poach him.'

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