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Buffalo Bills News - March 22, 2001

Marker Defense a Gray area [11:40 PM]
NFL.com reports: "It's a give-and-take situation," Gray said. "These guys played for Ted Cottrell, and they liked him. There might be a tad bit of animosity at first. They might want me to be just like Ted."

Marker Bills to Stay in AFC East? [12:28 PM]
cnnsi.com reports: Don Banks speculates on the details of the NFL's possible realignment in 2002. When the league becomes a 32-team, eight-division in 2002, Banks thinks most of the new look will be quite familiar. Will the AFC East have Miami, New England, Buffalo and the New York Jets?

Marker Positive changes found all around One Bills Drive [5:15 AM]
D and C reports: 'Donahoe and Williams are a tad over the edge when it comes to details. But their obsession with the finer points looks pretty good next to the Obsessive Ostrich Disorder displayed by Butler and Phillips during last year's slide to .500.'

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March 21, 2001

Marker Draft Digest Bills Board [11:24 PM]
NFL Draft Digest reports: 'Brian Delucia (one of the more well-respected draftniks) projects the different players the Bills have shown interest in and where they might project to take 'em - pretty good stuff ... no qbs till round 5 ... only round 2 possibility at tackle is Kareem Mackenzie ... possibly Nick Harris as punter in round 5.'

Marker Dolphins, other teams interested in Rich Owens [3:29 PM]
Miami Herald reports: The articles states Miami and KC offered Miami FA DE Rich Owens contracts last week, and neither was accepted. Owens was in Buffalo last Friday. Owens' agents expect a contract offer from the Giants and the Bills as early as today. He missed 6 games last year with a back injury.

Marker Williams will miss other half of 'The Package' [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's tough to deal with," said Williams, shaking his head. "Even now, it's hard to believe he is gone." "He" is Ted Washington, the Pro Bowl nose tackle who was released by the Bills last month. To Williams, Washington was more than just a vital element of the Bills' defense. He was Williams' confidant and closest friend on the team.'

Marker Pats add Panos to offensive line [5:42 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'He signed with Buffalo as a free agent in 1998 and started all 16 games that season, but missed all of 1999 after undergoing surgery to repair a bulging disc in his neck. He was able to rejoin the team last season, but a series of nagging injuries, as well as the play of Pro Bowler Ruben Brown and Jamie Nails, kept him on the bench for the entire season.'

Marker Patriots sign free agent G Joe Panos [5:41 AM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Waived by the Buffalo Bills for salary cap purposes in February, Panos has started 56 of 83 games in seven NFL seasons.'

March 20, 2001

Marker Bills Preseason Opponents [9:43 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The Bills will play preseason games at Pittsburgh and at Cincinnati. Their home games will include the Rams and the Eagles.'

Marker Patriots sign offensive lineman Joe Panos [7:59 PM]
AP reports: 'He signed with the Buffalo Bills in 1998 and started every game that season. But he missed all of '99 after surgery to repair a bulging disk in his neck, and missed three games last year with injuries to his right heel and knee.'

Marker Draft Needs of AFC Teams [12:50 PM]
ESPN reports: Mel Kiper lists each AFC team's major draft need. His opinion? The Bills need to get help on the offensive line, at cornerback, and on the defensive line.

Marker Ostroski will become right guard [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'When the Buffalo Bills conducted their three-day practice last week, Jerry Ostroski was lined up at right guard instead of the center position he played last season. It appears the position switch will be permanent.'

Marker Bears courting Bills tackle Washington [6:55 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: 'Washington is an unrestricted free agent after his release last month by the Bills. He decided to leave Buffalo rather than agree to a cut to his $5.28 million base salary. He met at Halas Hall with the Bears on Monday and would like Miller and his agent to get together again.'

Marker Bears, Washington edge closer [6:54 AM]
Chicago Sun Times reports: '"If they work something out with my agent and the negotiator here, it's pretty much a done deal," the 6-5, 350-pound Washington said. "I like what I see and I'll fit in good." The Bears are trying to be patient and prudent with the $4 million of salary-cap room they have remaining.'

Marker Bears talk with Washington [6:53 AM]
Arlington Heights Daily Herald reports: '[Ted Washington] could spend weeks visiting other interested employers, but he didn't seem eager to do so at Monday afternoon's Halas Hall press conference. "Hopefully not," he said of the possibility of taking other trips. "I like what I see here, and think I'll fit in good."'

Marker Back to future for Van Pelt [6:15 AM]
D and C reports: 'Van Pelt, a dependable backup with the Buffalo Bills for six seasons, re-signed, as expected, with the club yesterday. The Bills are switching to the West Coast offense under new coach Gregg Williams, the quick, rhythm passing attack that Van Pelt operated at the University of Pittsburgh in the early 1990s where he broke many of Dan Marino's records.'

March 19, 2001

Marker Bills re-sign Van Pelt [9:25 PM]
Shout! reports: 'The Bills as usual did not disclose terms of Van Pelt's contract -- which is believed to be at or slightly above the veteran minimum salary of $477,000 for 2001, with a small signing bonus.'

Marker Tom Donahoe quotes (3/19) [8:11 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: On Buffalo's cap situation:

We don't think [it's all cleared up], though we're trying to. At least right now, the cap is at a place where it's manageable and we can survive on a daily basis. Each time we go to sign somebody, it has implications with the cap, and we have to study it and look at it. We're going to have to continue to do that.

Marker Bills re-sign unrestricted free agent QB Van Pelt [6:05 PM]
Sportsticker reports: '"Everyone wants to play, but Rob's the guy," Van Pelt said. "There's no question. There was no question in my mind all along. What helps me is that I know my job: Be ready to go at the No. 2 or No. 3 spot and support the guy who's in there."'

Marker Bills re-sign Van Pelt [6:00 PM]
AP reports: 'After two years of salary-cap-forced purges, the Bills aren't out of the woods just yet. Although the situation is more manageable, Donahoe said he doesn't expect to be comfortably clear of the cap until next year.'

Marker Ostroski restructures contract [12:25 PM]
Empire Sports reports: 'Ostroski signed a 2-year extension through 2004, getting a $2 million signing bonus. He took a pay cut on his base salary this season from $1.5 to 1.25 million, pushing some money to the last two years of the deal. This freed up $1 million in cap room and, according to sources, the Bills are now about $4 million under the cap.'

Marker Van Pelt, Carpenter, McDaniel sign with Bills [11:55 AM]
TBD reports: 'The Bills have announced that free safety Keion Carpenter and wide receiver Jeremy McDaniel, both of whom were exclusive rights free agents, have accepted the team's tendered offers. Van Pelt will continue with the Bills for a 7th season.'

Marker Spring football pays little for exercising Bills [9:54 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'Would you work out under the instruction of nutrition and exercise experts at no cost? Would you do it in Buffalo even if your annual six- or seven-figure income allowed you to live in climates where spring was actually a season and not just an annual wish? Would you do it for $80 per day, plus food?'

Marker It's still open season on grid speculating [9:51 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'The Johnson-Flutie issue won't go away because the media loves it. It makes copy for the print journalists, when football writers were once struggling for material in the off season. And for radio and TV, it's a bonanza.'

Marker Pro Bowl Tackle to Visit Bears [9:14 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: Ted Washington will be visiting the Bears on Tuesday and a 3:00 pm press conference has been scheduled. The Bears have not made similar announcements with other visiting players...

March 18, 2001

Marker KC Chiefs hesitate to trade for someone else's backup [4:07 PM]
KC Star reports: So was either [Brad or Rob] Johnson worth the No. 1 draft choice their teams coughed up to get them? Not according to [Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson] Peterson. "I think those were very, very foolish trades," Peterson said. "I would never do that. That doesn't make sense to me. Maybe it did to them at that time or whatever, but we're in a different situation. Our No. 1 draft pick is worth too much. I wouldn't want anyone to think that we absolutely, positively, unequivocally think that we have to have Trent Green."

Marker Sell 'em before they get stale [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'PLB Sports, the Pittsburgh company that dreamed up the hit cereal, is packing a truckload of 20,000 boxes depicting Flutie in Buffalo Bills red, white and blue to meet demand by Chargers' fans. The breakfast food will be sold at Longs Drug stores in Southern California.'

Marker Fluties want foundation to Give money Back [8:31 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Local football hero Doug Flutie and his wife, Laurie, have broken ranks with The Giving Back Fund, a Boston-based nonprofit that manages celebrity charities, and a battle looms over more than $2 million the Fluties have raised and want to move to their own autism foundation.'

Marker Buffalo Bills Off-Season Player Movement [7:27 AM]
TBD reports: 'Here is a breakdown of the current off-season player moves by the Buffalo Bills and the likely impact they will have on the team in 2001.'

March 17, 2001

Marker John Clayton's worst free-agent signings of all time [9:41 PM]
ESPN reports: 1. Nate Odomes, CB, Seahawks (1994)
Clayton's take: The Seahawks brought him over after years of Pro Bowl performances with the Buffalo Bills but barely got him on the field. An offseason charity basketball game might have been the final straw in blowing out a knee, but the knee was ready to explode anyway from playing all those extra playoff games during the Bills' Super Bowl streak. For the Seahawks, they paid the money but didn't fix the cornerback position.

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