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Buffalo Bills News - April 22, 2002

Marker Patriots send Drew to Bills [6:09 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'From a financial standpoint, the Patriots save $1 million this season by trading Bledsoe. But under league rules, the team will still carry $6 million for Bledsoe on this year's approximate $72-million salary cap. Buffalo assumes Bledsoe's contract, a 10-year, $103-million package that was signed March 7, 2001.'

Marker Drew Crew gives way to Bill's Boys [6:08 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'Patriots-Bills? Pats fans, welcome to your rivalry of the '00s. Just like Patriots-Jets made this region buzz after Bill Parcells defected in 1997, this is what we're looking at over the next five years.'

Marker Bledsoe deal sparks new debate over veteran QB [6:07 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Was it the right move?'

Marker All together: 'Thanks, Drew' [6:06 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'In many ways he was the franchise. He was the star quarterback, the most recognizable name, the public face for the Patriots. He was the one player who transcended football around here, the one name everyone in New England knew, even if they didn't know a blitz from a post pattern.'

Marker In the end, persistence paid off [6:05 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Remember this: Patrick Ramsey is the reason this deal finally went down.'

Marker Bledsoe deal gives Bills' fans a reason to rejoice [6:04 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Officials said the box office would be indefinitely open throughout the night because of the large amount of interest the trade has generated.'

Marker Bledsoe is traded to Bills [6:04 AM]
Worcester Telegram and Gazette reports: 'The deal apparently went over well in Buffalo. Even before it was announced, the Bills opened their box office to accommodate fans who heard the trade was imminent. Buffalo, which failed to sell out four of its eight home games last season, drew 504,709 fans last year, the lowest since 1987.'

Marker Drew tapped to fill the bill [6:03 AM]
Worcester Telegram and Gazette reports: 'Drew Bledsoe became a Bill yesterday afternoon because Donahoe, Buffalo's team president and general manager, was more worried about going into next season without the strong-armed former Pro Bowl QB than Belichick was worried about going into training camp with him.'

Marker Bills Meet Pats' Price [6:02 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'Bledsoe, who appeared at the early April White House ceremony honoring the Patriots, hasn't talked to Belichick since the season ended.'

Marker Bledsoe Never Lost Dignity [6:01 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'Even when he was the star, Bledsoe never publicly criticized his teammates.'

Marker Chatter Box [6:00 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'There is a certain amount of arrogance attached to the Bledsoe trade, otherwise the Patriots would not have dealt him to a division rival. Kraft could have taken less and spared Bledsoe the humiliation of having to revisit Foxboro twice a year for the remainder of his career. Bledsoe will undoubtedly suck it up and take playing the Patriots as an extra special challenge.'

Marker Pats Trade Bledsoe To Division-Rival Bills [5:59 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'In fact, if the Bills are a bad team again, which would be no surprise at all, it will strengthen the defending Super Bowl champs, who after yesterday's trade now own Buffalo's No. 1 pick in 2003, which could easily be in the top five.'

Marker Bills drew draft-day winner [5:58 AM]
New York Post reports: 'The Patriots, willing to trade their former franchise quarterback within the division after all, accepted a No. 1 draft pick in 2003 for Bledsoe, and heavens to Jim Kelly, the Bills are contenders again.'

Marker Pats Trade Bledsoe To Bills for '03 Pick [5:57 AM]
New York Newsday reports: '"We all knew what the situation was," Belichick said of his quarterbacks, Drew Bledsoe and Tom Brady. "A football team can have only one starting quarterback."'

Marker Demoted Pro Bowl quarterback traded to Buffalo for first-round pick in 2003 [5:56 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots concluded their draft with what they hope is a case of addition by subtraction. In the process, they strengthened one of their rivals in the AFC East.'

Marker Patriots trade Bledsoe to Bills for pick next year [5:56 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'Bledsoe has a $5 million salary this season, $5.5 million in 2003 and $6 million in 2004. On Nov. 1, 2004, the Bills will have to decide whether to pay a $7 million option that triggers the remainder (2005-2010) of the contract.'

Marker UVa's Luzar, Tech's Taylor, Ferguson among Day 2 picks [5:55 AM]
Lynchburg News and Advance reports: '"I knew if I wasn't drafted I would be somewhere as a free agent," said Ferguson, the 251st overall pick. "I really wasn't too worried about it."'

Marker Donahoe, Bills owner help make trade happen [5:54 AM]
ESPN reports: '"There's really a buzz here right now," Donahoe said.'

Marker Buffalo bound [5:54 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: 'Bledsoe told the Patriots he would retire rather than return for his 10th season as a backup to Brady and that he preferred to remain in the AFC East. He turned down a chance to be dealt to Cincinnati.'

Marker Patriots Trade Drew Bledsoe to Bills for Draft Pick [5:52 AM]
Bloomberg reports: '"For many reasons and at many levels, this was a difficult trade to make,'' Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. "He gave our fans some of the greatest memories in the franchise's history. Drew Bledsoe is a special player."'

Marker Beyond Bledsoe, Bills plug holes with six more draft picks [5:51 AM]
AP reports: '"It's a significant difference from when I came here a year ago, let alone at the end of the season," Williams said. "Obviously, we've improved it in a lot of different ways. But now it comes time to continue to work. When we open up training camp, we've all got to be on the same page."'

Marker Pats finally deal Bledsoe - to Bills [5:51 AM]
Portland Press Herald reports: '"They've gotten some value," said Belichick. "We've gotten some, too."'

Marker Bills suddenly bolstered by Bledsoe deal [5:50 AM]
AP reports: '"Since Jim Kelly, we haven't had anybody good."'

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April 21, 2002

Marker Final 2002 Draft Wrap-up - Press Conference [9:59 PM] reports: Gregg Williams - "Obviously this is a very exciting day. It made us a much better football team. I think that we have done a great job since January in improving (the football team) and I think we've taken another great step today in improving (the team) with that acquisition."

Marker Bills Acquire Drew Bledsoe - Press Conference [9:59 PM] reports: We are thrilled to have Drew Bledsoe. We think he is a great quarterback. We think he is a tremendous competitor and he is going to bring excitement and energy to our football team and really provide us with, what we think, will be the type of quarterback that can help us as we go into the future.

Marker Bledsoe builds excitement in Buffalo [8:21 PM]
USA Today reports: 'Even before the deal was announced, the Bills opened their box office to accommodate fans who heard the trade was imminent. Buffalo, which failed to sell out four of its eight home games last season, drew 504,709 fans last year, the lowest since 1987.'

Marker Bledsoe bound for Buffalo [8:01 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: Alex Van Pelt, who showed some promise down the stretch in place of the injured Rob Johnson last season, will be relegated to a backup role. The Patriots drafted Louisiana State QB Rohan Davey in the fourth round Sunday, which signaled something may indeed be in the works for Bledsoe, who was the first pick in the 1993 draft out of Washington State and owns nearly every Patriots passing record.

Marker Drew Bledsoe Profile / Game history [7:56 PM] reports: They neglect to mention the life threatening injury last year.

Marker Bills gave up too much for Bledsoe [7:32 PM]
Fox Sports reports: The Buffalo Bills chose not to sign free-agent Jeff Blake as their next quarterback and, instead swung a deal for veteran Drew Bledsoe. That was smart. But it took a first-round draft choice to get him, and that was too expensive.

Marker Fearlessly grading Saturday's first-rounders [7:19 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills thought long and hard (according to Bills not at all) about taking Albert Haynesworth here, but in the end Tom Donahoe opted to go for Williams. He's a big, powerful player who can play right or left tackle -- probably right for the Bills. That will allow them to move Jonas Jennings to guard in what shapes up as a decent line. Grade: B. That defensive line still has a huge hole in the middle.'

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