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Buffalo Bills News - March 12, 2004

Marker Dolphins land Rams' St. Clair, reportedly closes in on Chargers' Boston [5:12 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Morris, who played his first four NFL seasons in Buffalo, will replace the departed Femi Ayanbadejo (Arizona) as Rob Konrad's backup and play a prominent role on special teams.'

Marker Dolphins working on deal for Boston [5:11 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'The Dolphins also agreed to a two-year contract with Sammy Morris, a pass-catching running back who played the past four seasons in Buffalo. Morris, 6 feet and 220 pounds, had 14 catches for 100 yards and 19 rushes for 70 yards last season. He could replace fullback Obafemi Ayanbadejo, who left for Arizona, or back up Ricky Williams if Travis Minor leaves as a restricted free agent. Morris is considered an excellent special-teams player, with 38 career tackles.'

Marker Bills Lose Special Captain [5:10 AM] reports: 'Morris spent the first four years of his NFL career in Buffalo. A little undersized for full time duty in the backfield, Morris caught 14 balls for 100 yards last season. He ran for another 70. Miami gave Morris a two year deal.'

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March 11, 2004

Marker Dolphins sign Buffalo running back [8:18 PM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'The Dolphins have agreed to a two-year contract with Sammy Morris, a pass-catching running back/fullback who played the last four seasons in Buffalo.'

Marker Bills Alumni Spotlight: Mike Stratton [5:22 PM] reports: '"I don’t think there was any one that was better timed than that one and it wasn’t due to my skill of trying to time the tackle," Stratton said. "I think it was due to my fear that Lincoln was going to catch the ball and his feet were going to hit the ground before I got to him and then I might miss him. So I was driven more by fear than anything else. It was a good collision. I felt it and I knew that he felt it. I didn’t know what would happen. I was happy in some ways that he was not coming back into the game because he had already given us fits, but I was also happy that he didn’t seem to be that badly hurt. So it sort of worked out well."'

Marker Saying goodbye to the Bills’ king of candor [4:41 PM]
Rochester City Newspaper reports: I met Winfield in April 1999 after Buffalo drafted him 23rd overall. I wrote for the independent Bills publication Shout!, and was assigned to ghostwrite an ongoing diary chronicling a player's rookie year. We chose Winfield, figuring there wouldn't be any better subject than the team's first pick. As it turned out, there probably weren't many better subjects in the NFL.

Marker Bills' Wyche to scout free-agent QB Volek [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills are fully committed to Drew Bledsoe for the 2004 season and are not expected to be eager to bring in a quarterback who would be considered a serious threat to their starter. Volek, given his apprenticeship in the Titans' system, would be more of a threat than Henson. Bledsoe is due to receive a contract bonus in November and his future with the team beyond this year depends on his performance.'

Marker Volek, Bills will meet here [6:09 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'Sunday, the Bills are scheduled to meet with Volek in Nashville.'

Marker Dolphins, Boston share an interest [6:08 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'The Dolphins and free-agent fullback Sammy Morris started contract negotiations Wednesday but didn't reach an agreement. The Dolphins want Morris, who played with Buffalo the past four seasons, as a backup to Rob Konrad after Femi Ayanbadejo signed last Saturday with Arizona.'

March 10, 2004

Marker Roland Williams Could be a Bill [12:27 PM]
WOKR-TV reports: The Bills are in need of a backup TE to play behind Mark Campbell. Roland Williams is a free agent since being released by Bucaneers. The talks between Williams and the Bills are considered to be in the preliminary stages at the moment.

Marker 2 players mulling Patriots' offers [5:17 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Morris, who's been a valuable special teams player the past three seasons in Buffalo, visited the Miami Dolphins yesterday, according to his agent, Mark Slough. Earlier, Morris met with the Cleveland Browns. Slough pointed out that two of the teams interested in his client had to face Morris a combined four times each season. "I don't think that's coincidence," Slough said of the interest in Morris, a 6-foot, 220-pounder. "Obviously, they scout the division closely and know what people can do."'

March 9, 2004

Marker New Tight Ends Coach Familiar Face to Colts [10:43 PM] reports: Ricky Thomas, the Colts’ offensive quality control coach the past two seasons, was promoted recently to tight ends coach. The quality control position has been filled by former NFL tight end Pete Metzelaars. Metzelaars, 43, worked with the Colts during 2003 training camp, helping coach the team’s tight ends. He played 16 NFL seasons with four NFL teams, playing with Seattle from 1982-84, Buffalo from 1984-1994, Carolina in 1995 and Detroit from 1996-97. Metzelaars caught 383 passes in the NFL for 3,686 yards and 29 touchdowns.

Marker Tuesday Roundup: Move Keeps Madison in Miami [10:39 PM] reports: The Indianapolis Colts have hired former NFL standout tight end Pete Metzelaars as offensive quality control coach, the club announced Tuesday.

Marker Bills talk with Macklin, Terrelle Smith [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The 5-foot-9 Macklin isn't in Winfield's class as a consistent cover man. However, the 25-year-old plays aggressively and has good quickness. He played his best later in the season for the Colts and had four takeaways (two interceptions and two fumble recoveries) in the playoffs. A former third-round pick, he has seven interceptions in four years. Macklin also visited Cincinnati over the weekend.'

Marker Bills check out two more free agents [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Macklin is an intriguing, younger option. A third-round pick in 2000 out of Penn State, he has started 63 games, totaling 177 tackles, 37 pass breakups, and seven interceptions. In three playoff games last season, the 5-foot-9, 196-pound Macklin made 12 tackles with two fumble recoveries and two interceptions, both against Denver.'

Marker Free-agent LB Polk pays Texans a visit [5:15 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: 'During Polk's rookie season at Buffalo, the Bills used a 3-4 defense, and Polk said he could play inside or outside. Monday marked Polk's first free-agent visit, and he will meet with the New York Jets today. He spent part of his Texans visit having lunch with linebacker Jay Foreman, a former teammate with the Bills.'

Marker Time may be right for Pats [5:14 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Morris' agent, Mark Slough, said Morris accepts the fact he won't be a primary back next season, but he wants to go to a team that involves him in the offense. The 6-foot, 225-pound Morris was a three-time special teams captain for the Bills, another attraction for the Pats.'

Marker Ex-Titan, former Bill interested in Patriots [5:13 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Whether he's being brought in to simply add numbers to a backfield that has only one player signed right now (Kevin Faulk) or if the Patriots see something in Morris that has not yet been tapped by the Bills is unclear. He's a good special-teams player, serving as the Bills' special-teams captain last season.'

March 8, 2004

Marker Macklin And Smith Come To Town [8:07 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The Bills had two players in for visits on Monday. Indianapolis free agent CB David Macklin was in town as was New Orleans free agent FB Terrelle Smith.'

Marker Bills bring in two players for visits [7:12 PM]
AP reports: 'Smith, 25, was drafted in the fourth round of the 2000 draft by the New Orleans Saints. He rushed for 150 yards on 39 carries in his four-year career with the Saints, and started 36 of the 59 games that he has appeared in. Macklin, 25, had 36 tackles and one interception for Indianapolis in 2003. The Colts selected Macklin in the third round of the 2000 draft. Macklin has also played on special teams during his career.'

Marker Inside slant [7:01 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Rarely has Villarrial been beaten, which couldn't be said about Brown.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [7:00 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Minnesota Vikings canceled a visit with Bruener and the Bills could be his only option. He was due to earn $2.4 million with the Steelers.'

Marker Notes, quotes, anecdotes [6:59 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'There are plenty of big-name pass rushers on the market, including ex-Bill fan favorite Marcellus Wiley, cut by San Diego, but Buffalo isn't likely to spend any significant money in this area.'

Marker Brown's contributions went beyond football [5:15 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'Brown, the Bills' No. 1 pick in 1995 whose career here ended in a strange twist that saw him sit out the 2003 season finale, was a favorite target of critics. They never understood how it was he kept getting elected to the Pro Bowl. See a penalty flag in the vicinity of the offensive line? The guess was No. 79 was cited for some infraction.'

Marker Bills wooed Villarrial, and that's bad news for Bears [5:14 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: 'Villarrial received the red-carpet treatment from the Bills when free agency opened at midnight Wednesday. New coach Mike Mularkey called Villarrial at 12:10 a.m., and Villarrial was at Bills headquarters by noon. He was signed by nightfall.'

March 7, 2004

Marker Redskins will pay the price for Daniel Snyder's spending spree [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills have a $2 million option payment that's due Teague sometime in the next month. It wasn't due the first day of the league year, like a lot of other bonuses. The option payment would lock Teague up through 2005. If they don't pay the option bonus, then they would have to pay Teague an extra $1 million in base salary this year (bringing his base to $2.5 million) plus a $1 million reporting bonus. That's not going to happen. So the choices are pay him the $2 million option payment or find another center and release Teague. Stay tuned for the Bober visit.'

Marker Morris scheduled to visit Pats today [5:41 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'Morris, who turns 27 later this month, was scheduled to arrive in Foxboro today after a visit with the Browns in Cleveland. He also has trips scheduled for Miami, Denver and Oakland this week, according to Slough.'

March 6, 2004

Marker Winfield off to snowy Minnesota [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Winfield built a reputation in Buffalo as a solid cover corner and one of the best tackling defensive backs in the NFL. He is not known for big plays. He has just one interception in his last 37 games. The Vikings, however, are in dire need of cornerback help and had $33 million to spend under the salary cap.'

Marker Bills’ Donahoe looks to upgrade roster [5:15 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“We like the group,” Donahoe said of his defensive ends including right side starter Aaron Schobel and McKenzie. “We’ve got to improve ... got to get better. (But) we finished ninth in sacks last season, which seems to get lost. Am I saying we wouldn’t look at a pass rusher, ‘No.’ But I think we feel better about that group than some of the (media) people in this room.”'

Marker Vikings sign cornerback Winfield to six-year deal [5:14 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: '"I saw the snow and was like, 'This is home,' " Winfield said. "I live in Buffalo."'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
09/17 @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
10/01 @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
10/08 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
10/29 Oakland Raiders 1:00 pm
11/2 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/12 New Orlean Saints 1:00 pm
11/19 @ San Diego Chargers 4:05 pm
11/26 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/3 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/10 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
12/17 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
12/24 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/31 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm

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