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Buffalo Bills News - February 17, 2003

Marker Free agency married to the draft [10:32 PM] reports: This is a much stronger draft at QB than it is in free agency. This year, Carson Palmer, Byron Leftwich, Rex Grossman, Chris Simms, Kyle Bollar, Dave Ragone and Ken Dorsey lead a group that is being compared to the classes of '83 and '99. But things have changed in the NFL since the class of '83 and club executives realize they're dealing with a different set of circumstances these days.

The class of '83 included Dan Marino, John Elway, Jim Kelly and Ken O'Brien. All four played for one NFL team their whole career. That will not be the case with this draft class or any other in the near future.

Marker What's Next in the AFC East by John Clayton [10:31 PM]
ESPN reports: Biggest Decisions: Donahoe has to decide whether or not to keep Price or let him go through free agency. It isn't an easy decision. If the Bills franchise Price, it throws the balance of their cap onto the offense, which will limit the ability to rebuild the defense. On the other side, can the Bills afford to lose a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver when they aren't certain that Josh Reed is ready to take over for him. Odds favor the Bills letting Price go.

Marker Bills' rivals could sign Davis, Spikes [5:15 AM]
D and C reports: 'Miami reportedly is contemplating making a contract offer to Spikes despite Cincinnati’s plan to tag him as the team’s transition player.'

Marker NFL player Jay Riemersma to speak at Boys & Girls Club benefit [5:14 AM]
Holland Sentinel reports: 'Riemersma, a Zeeland High School graduate, played football with the University of Michigan before joining the National Football League.'

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February 16, 2003

Marker Felser: Bills Need Spikes More than Price [4:47 PM]
ESN reports: I say use the money which might retain Price and use it on Spikes to help bring the Bills' nearer to parity with its own attack. Defense wins. Donahoe saw Tampa Bay win the Super Bowl like everyone else did. He really doesn't need to be convinced.

The Bills' window of opportunity will last for two years, three at the most, then another salary-cap exodus will begin. What their defense needs most is a playmaker. Spikes answers that description. He's also a team leader and a young one.

Marker DeLamielleure happy to speak at banquet [5:50 AM]
Akron Beacon Journal reports: 'Tickets for the banquet are on sale and available through Tedeschi at 1-800-736-1890, with proceeds benefiting the Interval Brotherhood Home in Akron.'

February 15, 2003

Marker Game of the Year [1:05 PM] reports: 'Voting on this category will run from Friday, Feb. 14 to Sunday, Feb. 16.'

Marker Bills Alumni To Present Checks At Annual Luncheon [1:04 PM] reports: 'This year, $40,000 will be presented to area charities from funds that were raised at the Bills Alumni golf tournament held last September.'

Marker Riemersma Will Be At CSHF Museum Monday Afternoon [1:03 PM]
Jamestown Post Journal reports: 'Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame president Ron Melquist has announced that Buffalo Bills tight end Jay Riemersma, who will be the guest speaker at the 22nd annual induction dinner, will appear at the Hall of Fame museum Monday afternoon.'

Marker Bills still working on Williams' extension [5:45 AM]
D and C reports: '“I’ll reiterate it, we’re very happy with Gregg,” Donahoe said.'

February 14, 2003

Marker Bills might not be able to afford Price's long-term contract [8:27 PM]
AP reports: '''I'm not optimistic at this time, quite honestly. But, you never know,'' Price's agent Tim McGee said. ''It may be unrealistic because it may not be cost-effective (for the Bills).'''

Marker Donahoe: Riemersma must take pay cut or risk being released [3:32 PM]
AP reports: '''We made it clear to his agent and Jay last year when we talked about it,'' Donahoe said. ''We said, 'We'll live with it for another year but, going into 2003, there's no way we can afford that number.''''

Marker Hunter's Hope [1:27 PM]
WKBW-TV reports: 'Tonight is the big birthday bash for Hunter Kelly. The party is held every year for the son of former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and his wife, Jill...Hunter's Day of Hope begins tonight at Chestnut Ridge Park at 5 p.m.'

Marker Thoughts on Cottrell and the right Price [1:20 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'But I’m betting he’s neither franchise nor transition.'

Marker Send A FREE Bills Valentine Card [10:33 AM] reports: Select a Bills E-Postcard and send a message to family & friends.

Marker Most Improved Player: Marques Sullivan [10:27 AM] reports: In just four weeks of training camp, he re-acquainted himself with the guard spot, a position he last played as a college freshman at Illinois. The 6-5, 320-pounder showed the coaches enough to start the season at right guard and held the starting role for the entire season. His improved blocking on running plays throughout the season was one of the main reasons Travis Henry rushed for the fifth-highest total in team history while averaging 4.4 yards per carry.

Marker Bills coordinators get contract extensions [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Bills President and General Manager Tom Donahoe has often downplayed the idea of Williams going into next season as a lame duck coach. But it would be a highly unusual move to extend Williams' top two assistants and not do the same for Williams.'

Marker It's unlikely Bills will agree to asking price [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'They have nothing to lose by tagging Price now. Under league rules, they can remove the tag later.'

Marker Don't underestimate Price [8:54 AM]
Shout! reports: Many Bills fans underestimate Peerless Price's talents. They figure that the reason he put up big numbers as a Bill the last couple seasons was because of Eric Moulds' presence. Without Moulds, they say, Price is just another fast receiver.

February 13, 2003

Marker Nominate A Bills Game: Game of the Year [3:04 PM] reports: What Bills games do you think were the most exciting to watch in 2002? Submit your nominations below. Voting on this category will run from Friday, February 14 to Sunday, February 16.

Marker Most Improved Player: Award Nominees [3:03 PM] reports: Originally drafted by the Bills in the fifth round of the 2001 Draft (144th overall), Sullivan was forced into action as a rookie after injuries decimated the offensive line. In total, he played in 10 games and earned a pair of starts (one at left tackle and one at right tackle). This past season, an injury to Jerry Ostroski opened the door for Sullivan once again.

Marker Bills wait on LeBeau [5:25 AM]
D and C reports: 'Dick LeBeau hasn’t closed the door on coaching again, but there’s been no word on whether he will accept the Buffalo Bills’ offer to join Gregg Williams and company.'

February 12, 2003

Marker 12th Man Awards [5:16 PM] reports: The Bills executed a five-game turnaround from last season, matching the best one-year improvement in franchise history. This season saw a rejuvenation of the offense after the acquisition of QB Drew Bledsoe from the Patriots and a late resurgence by the defense. The foundation is in place for the Bills to be a contender for the AFC title in 2003. Over the course of the next few weeks, will give Bills fans the opportunity to nominate and vote on the best of 2002.

Marker Where Are They Now: Tim Vogler [5:15 PM] reports: My friends asked me, ‘Why Buffalo over Pittsburgh?’ I was like, ‘(Mike) Webster is their (All-NFL) center. How soon do you think he’s not going to be playing?’" Vogler laughed. "I basically picked the Bills because they weren’t a very good team. I thought I had a better opportunity to make the team."

Marker Newman doesn't expect Bills to re-sign him [4:54 PM]
AP reports: '''You hate to leave a place where they drafted you. But if it's not in the plans for me to be back here next year, I can't sit back and sulk over it,'' Newman said, a day after the Bills season ended. ''I have to go wherever if I'm leaving, start over and play football.'''

Marker Bills Extends Coordinators' Contracts; Release Preseason Schedule [4:53 PM]
WOKR-TV reports: 'While the Bills say they are confident that they can get Dick LeBeau to join the staff, NewsSource 13 has learned that they have extended the contracts of their coordinators, Jerry Gray and Kevin Gilbride.'

Marker Nominate A Bills Player: Most Improved Player [3:31 PM] reports: What players do you feel improved the most since the end of the 2001 season? Submit your nominations below. Voting on this category will take place on Thursday, February 13.

Marker Bills, Browns will visit Nashville in '03 preseason [1:24 PM]
Nashville City Paper reports: 'There are other familiar faces to Titans fans with the Bills. In addition to Williams, the Bills also feature former Titans secondary coach Jerry Gray as defensive coordinator. Former Titans defensive back Steve Jackson is also a member of the coaching staff, while ex-Tennessee linebackers Eddie Robinson and Greg Favors are also in Buffalo. Ex-Oilers offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride serves in that role for the Bills. For the Titans it will be a chance to get an earlier glimpse at the rebuilding job being done by “Titans North,” even though the exhibition meeting will have far from a regular season feel on either side.'

Marker Bills know preseason [5:18 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Tennessee date avoids a conflict with the PGA golf championship at Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford on Aug. 14-17.'

February 11, 2003

Marker Bengals put transition tag on Spikes [8:47 PM] reports: Linebacker Takeo Spikes was tagged as the Bengals’ transition player, disappointing one of Cincinnati’s top defensive players and emotional leaders.

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