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Buffalo Bills News - March 4, 2015

Marker Bills' additions and Jefferson Award have Jackson upbeat [8:28 PM]
AP reports: '"Knowing that we're making some moves to win this season and being honored for an accomplishment off the field, it's one of those things where I'll enjoy this week as long as I can."'

Marker The good, bad and ugly of Buffalo Bills' trades for Matt Cassel, LeSean McCoy [8:23 PM]
Auburn Citizen reports: 'The question here is whether the Bills needed to make this trade in the first place. Could the Bills draft a running back in the mid-to-late rounds who would be the No. 1 back they need? Keep in mind Buffalo has a guy on the roster, Fred Jackson, one of the best running backs in franchise history, who wasn't drafted.'

Marker Cyrus Kouandjio not wasting any time prepping for 2015 [8:20 PM] reports: '“I’ve been there since the second week after the season, the last nine weeks,” Kouandjio told host John Murphy. “I’m going to stay here until I have to report (to the Bills). We work six days a week, take Sundays off. A really strict diet. You’re surrounded by people who are like-minded in what they want to do in their lives. It’s a really positive environment. I like it.”'

Marker Matt Cassel isn't young or cheap and doesn't solve Bills' quarterback problem [8:19 PM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'But before everyone jumps down the Bills' throats for not doing enough at quarterback, they are without a first-round pick in the upcoming draft and the free agent quarterback class includes the likes of Mark Sanchez, Brian Hoyer and Jake Locker. The Bills just needed to find a bridge to 2016 when they can take another stab at stabilizing the position long-term.'

Marker C.J. Spiller reportedly turned down $4.5 million per year from the Buffalo Bills [8:18 PM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Since the day the Bills were cleaning out their lockers at the end of the season, Spiller has made it clear he knows what he's worth and is willing to hit the open market to get it. After he turned down that offer from Buffalo, the Bills made an unexpected trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for 2013 rushing champion LeSean McCoy. While McCoy carries a $10.25 million cap hit for the 2015 season, he's certainly an upgrade over Spiller, who came back to earth the last two seasons after a breakout 2012 season.'

Marker Bills continue to wheel and deal, acquire Matt Cassel [8:17 PM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Like every quarterback available in the veteran free agent market, the 32-year-old Cassel is underwhelming. In 71 career starts with New England, Kansas City, and Minnesota the 6-foot-5, 230-pounder is 33-38, which makes you wonder why the Bills swapped draft picks to get him rather than just wait to pluck someone in free agency. Reportedly they sent 2015 fifth- and seventh-round picks and got back the Vikings 2015 sixth-round pick.'

Marker Is luring Revis the next step in Rex Ryan’s bold Bills makeover? [8:15 PM]
New York Post reports: 'That Ryan and the Bills might have their eye on a big free-agent acquisition was evident earlier this week when they decided not to apply the franchise tag to productive pass rusher Jerry Hughes because doing so would tie up too much of their 2015 cap.'

Marker Opinions differ on Cassel's expected role with Bills [8:14 PM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"Cassel will win the job. It probably won't even be close," Greg Cosell, chief analyst and senior producer for NFL Films, said over the phone. "It's a good move for the Bills. Cassel actually is a pretty good thrower. What he ultimately is, to use the cliché, is a system player.'

Marker Pegulas, Rex prove that Bills mean business [2:16 PM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Trades in the NFL are rare and it's rarer still that a team can obtain a 26-year-old, three-time Pro Bowl running back in his prime for a 24-year-old linebacker with one season to his credit and coming off ACL surgery.'

Marker Nothing Shady About This Trade - McCoy A Huge Boost For Bills [2:14 PM]
WHAM-AM reports: 'The main reason I like this deal for the Bills: Last season, they ranked 4th in the NFL in total defense (312.2 yards allowed per game) and 4th in scoring defense (18.1 points allowed per game) without Alonso, who was recovering from a torn ACL (he also sat out one season with the Oregon Ducks due to a knee issue)…It also is significant that Buffalo ranked 25th in rushing last season and 26th in yards per carry.'

Marker Bills to acquire Cassel from Vikings [2:07 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Cassel started the Vikings' first three games this past season before breaking several bones in his left foot against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 21. He was placed on injured reserve three days later.'

Marker Matt Cassel trade a simple, cheap bandage for Bills QB problem [2:03 PM]
CBS Sports reports: 'Don't get me wrong: Cassel isn't a savior for Buffalo. If he throws 450 times (like he did in 2010), 100 of those pass attempts are going to be screens and swings to Shady and another 200 should be bubbles and slants to Watkins.'

Marker Buffalo Bills agree to terms with Minnesota Vikings on trade for Matt Cassel [1:04 PM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Both head coach Rex Ryan and general manager Doug Whaley stressed the importance of adding competition at quarterback, and the 32-year old Cassel, who hasn't started for a full season since 2010, can bring a bit of that.'

Marker Vikings agree to trade Cassel to Bills for draft pick [1:02 PM]
AP reports: 'The trade also wouldn't have been initiated had the Vikings not been confident in Teddy Bridgewater, the first-round draft pick who took over as the starter in the third game of last season after Cassel broke his left foot. Cassel spent two years with the Vikings, taking over in 2013 after Christian Ponder struggled to keep the job.'

Marker Bills add QB Cassel to compete with Manuel [1:01 PM]
The Sports Xchange reports: 'Cassel appeared in 12 games over the past two seasons in Minnesota, completing 194 of 325 pass attempts for 2,232 yards, 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.'

Marker Active Bills trade for QB Matt Cassel [1:00 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Cassel and an "undisclosed draft choice" will come to the Bills, in exchange for "undisclosed draft choices" going back to the Vikings.'

Marker Bills address QB, acquire Matt Cassel [12:59 PM] reports: 'The Bills agreed to terms on a trade with the Vikings that will send two undisclosed draft choices to Minnesota in exchange for Matt Cassel.'

Marker LeSean McCoy reportedly 'not happy' about trade to Buffalo Bills [9:26 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: '"He's a Pennsylvania kid. He's never played football outside of Pennsylvania — high school, college, pro," the source told Anderson. "So of course he's not happy. Sounds like it's pretty final to me unless LeSean is refusing to go to Buffalo."''

Marker Bills get their workhorse running back in Eagles’ McCoy [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But the Bills’ defense ended up faring just fine without Alonso in 2014. The team finished fourth in the league in both yards and points allowed. Additionally, rookie Preston Brown and third-year veteran Nigel Bradham proved to be young, every-down linebackers with similar skill sets to Alonso.'

Marker Major trade shows Bills are serious [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'You don’t carry the ball 300 times two years in a row if you’re not willing to go between the tackles and take a featured back’s physical pounding. Ryan and general manager Doug Whaley are banking on it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t invest $9.75 million in a back.'

Marker Blockbuster: Bills to acquire Eagles' star RB McCoy [1:57 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"(Ryan is) going to get Shady the ball any way that he possibly can," said Tomlinson. "He's going to utilize all of the assets that Shady McCoy brings to a team. That means running screen routes, possibly lining him out on the outside and create mismatches. They're going to try to get this guy the ball as much as possible. We all know that Rex Ryan leans on that run game; that's what he wants to do. He wants to control the pace of the game with the run game. This guy, LeSean McCoy has proven that he can do that. I think it's going to be a perfect marriage with LeSean McCoy and Rex Ryan."'

Marker Spiller: Manuel can't be 'buddy-buddy' with Bills [1:56 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"(You're) the face of the franchise, (you're) the quarterback, so you have to demand certain things; you have to demand everything," Spiller continued. "You have to let the receivers know where they should be if they want to get the ball. You have to the let the running back know, 'This is where the blitz is coming from, I need you to get over there and pick it up.' I think early on, he just really didn't understand how to step on guys' toes. Once Kyle took over, he (saw) how Kyle did it, and that kinda helped him."'

Marker Buffalo Bills trade Kiko Alonso to Philadelphia Eagles for LeSean McCoy, according to report [1:55 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Alonso, who was the Bills' second-round pick in 2013, spent the 2014 season on injured reserve with a torn ACL. He was named as the PFWA defensive rookie of the year after piling up 159 tackles in his first season in the league.'

Marker C.J. Spiller says he's not returning to Buffalo Bills after LeSean McCoy trade [1:54 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'The Bills contacted Spiller after the trade to thank him for his time in Buffalo. Once the Bills acquired McCoy, who has a similar running style to Spiller but has been a far more productive back during his career, keeping Spiller in the fold didn't make sense.'

Marker Eric Wood, other Buffalo Bills players react to LeSean McCoy for Kiko Alonso trade [1:53 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Within minutes, NFL Network and ESPN were breaking down the trade while seemingly everyone on Twitter had an opinion. The players still on the Bills' roster had quite the reactions to losing a star defensive player and gaining another superstar on offense.'

Marker C.J. Spiller says Bills QB EJ Manuel needs to step on more toes and be less 'buddy-buddy' [1:52 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: '"Once Kyle took over, he (saw) how Kyle did it and it kind of helped him," Spiller said. "He does tremendous work. He comes to work every day prepares, unbelievable, he's in the first, leaving late, last one to leave. So he has all that stuff. It was just that 'buddy-buddy.' You know how it is. You come in with some guys and you really don't want to step on any toes. But as the quarterback you have to do that."'

Marker NFL free agency primer: Where do Buffalo Bills stand after franchise tag deadline? [1:51 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'The NFLPA announced the cap figures for every team in the NFL Monday, and the Buffalo Bills' number is $145,781,930. The official NFL salary cap for 2015 is $143.28 million, but the Bills rolled over a little more than $2 million from last year. This all means that the Bills will end up with a little over $27 million in cap space, according to the NFLPA.'

Marker Breaking down the pending McCoy-Alonso trade [1:50 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'The odds appear greater than not that Alonso will turn out to be a perennial elite middle linebacker for the Eagles. McCoy might be closing in fast on the dreaded running-back wall.'

Marker Eagles trade RB LeSean McCoy to Bills for LB Kiko Alonso [1:48 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Ryan is famous for his preferred style of offense — “ground and pound” — and must be thrilled to get such an offensive weapon. McCoy’s play-making abilities should be especially useful considering the Bills have a horrendous situation at quarterback with EJ Manuel as their top signal caller. McCoy, 26, has rushed for more than 1,300 yards in three of the last four seasons.'

Marker Eagles loaded with cap space after dealing McCoy to Bills [1:47 AM]
New York Post reports: 'The trade definitely had the look of a salary dump by Philadelphia, with McCoy scheduled to make $24.25 million over the next three seasons while Alonso — still working on his rookie contract — is set to earn just $1.7 million over the next two years.'

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