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Buffalo Bills News - March 6, 2002

Marker Jets pick up Cowart [9:42 PM]
New York Times reports: '"This," said Cottrell, who was disappointed in not getting a head- coaching position, "is one of the best days I've had in a long while."'

Marker Bills land Fletcher to lead defense [9:21 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'Already, some NFL observers think the Bills are better off with Fletcher leading their defense, than they would have been with Cowart and the uncertainty of his achilles injury.'

Marker Jets sign free agent LB Cowart to multi-year contract [9:05 PM]
Sportsticker reports: '"I feel very fortunate that the Jets showed so much interest in me," Cowart said. "Obviously, coming off an injury like I did ... some teams stayed away from me. The Jets believed in me."'

Marker Fletcher agrees to sign with Bills [9:03 PM]
AP reports: 'A three-down linebacker, and three-year starter, Fletcher led the NFC champion Rams with 90 tackles last season, and was referred to as "an integral part of the team,'' by St. Louis coach Mike Martz.'

Marker Bills get Fletcher to fill void of Cowart's departure [7:14 PM]
ESPN reports: Details of Fletcher's contract were not immediately available.

Marker What's fair is fair in the Johnson/Flutie flack [7:05 PM]
ESN reports: @ I criticized Dougie for his ill-advised remarks, whenever he was out of Buffalo. Naturally, Flutie fans roasted me, toasted me, skewered me and broiled me from one side to the other. Now, you find your trembling tiny tot of the kilowatt showing you that this adoring little bumpkin is fair.
The point is that Rob Johnson is gone. He should have kept his mouth shut. He couldn't hold back his lip, just like Flutie, and had to come out with what can be perceived as a little self serving, if not vindictive assessmemt. He, like Flutie, served up a big platter of negative rhetoric in conducting pity parties.

Marker Donahoe comments on Sam Cowart [6:51 PM]
BuffaloBills.Com reports: TD gives the impression that despite numerous efforts to keep him in a Bills Uniform, Cowart may have wanted to leave regardless.

Marker London Fletcher visits Bills - Comments to the media [6:50 PM] reports: @ Q: Are you ready to sign on the dotted line? A: I have some other trips planned. It's a process. There are some other things that have to be met. So far so good, the organization definitely has a strong interest in me and I have a strong interest in them otherwise I wouldn't be here. I was the first guy they brought in so that shows they are definitely interested. I'm still scheduled to visit with Detroit and Pittsburgh.

Marker AFC Needs: Buffalo [6:29 PM]
ESPN reports: @ The hole: Alex Van Pelt is being paid around $1 million a year to be either the backup or the starting QB, but new OC Gilbride cannot live with just one QB. That's why Gilbride and the Bills management walked around the combine over the weekend looking for agents who had QBs, as well as checking out all of the QBs who were throwing in the RCA Dome.

The solutions: It's pretty simple. Sign Jeff Blake. For some reason, the Bills are wondering if Blake has a lingering ankle problem from the 2000 season. He's had a year on the sidelines as Aaron Brooks' backup to rest the ankle, so he should be fine. Blake and Jonathan Quinn are the two veterans the Bills are talking to, but Blake is the right fit.

Marker LB Cowart to join Jets [3:41 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: '"We're jumping up and down with joy to sign him," said one Jets team source. "He's one of the top two or three backers in the game."'

Marker Cowart agrees to deal with Jets [3:40 PM]
Fox Sports reports: 'The former Pro Bowl star agreed to a six-year, $31 million deal with the New York Jets.'

Marker Ex-Bills linebacker Sam Cowart to sign with Jets [3:38 PM]
AP reports: 'A league source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the deal was to be completed late Wednesday.'

Marker 2001 Season Review - Statistical suprises [3:19 PM] reports: @ Statistical suprises are better than Tuna Surprise but remember that statistics (i.e. QB rating) can be deceiving.

Marker QB Market - too many pegs and/or too few holes [2:22 PM]
The Sporting News reports: @ With Miller and Dilfer resigning, that leaves a few too many pegs and/or too few holes, and the QB market figures mostly to be on mute. The Bills might be interested in tabbing Jeff Blake, who could compete for the starting job. Rob Johnson reportedly is headed to Houston, where he will do the Texans absolutely no good in three games before getting hurt.

Marker Linebacker Cowart will be reunited with Cottrell [1:18 PM]
ESPN reports: @ For months the Bills and middle LB Sam Cowart have argued in negotiations over how much risk the team should assume in a long-term contract following a season in which he partially tore an Achilles tendon. The AFC East rival Jets were willing to take more of the risk and will now put Cowart against the Bills twice a year. Cowart agreed to a six-year, $31 million contract that included a $1.8 million signing bonus and a play-time option bonus in 2003 that could be as much a $6 million.

Marker Cowart now a NJ Jet - Bills looking seriously at Fletcher and others [1:17 PM]
WNSA reports: @ With Sam Cowart now a New York Jet, the Bills will be really looking at London Fletcher who played for the St. Louis Rams. He's 5'11", 241 pounds and was the top tackler for the Rams. In 2000 he recorded 133 tackles with 5.5 sacks and last season added 199 stops with 4.5 sacks. He also picked off 6 passes in the last two years.

Now with Rob Johnson definitely out of Buffalo (and reportedly eager to join the Houston Texans) the QB situation also needs to be addressed. Up comes the name of Jonathan Quinn. Already chants of "The Mighty Quinn" might be ringing around Orchard Park.

Marker Bills foundation grant aids day camp [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Summer Days program run by the Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers has received a $5,000 grant from the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation.'

Marker 2002 NFL Mock Draft Tracker [7:59 AM]
TBD reports: Now that March is arrived it is time to seriously focus on the upcoming draft. Keep track of mock drafts around the internet with our Mock Draft Tracker!

Marker Bills planning to interview Jaguars' Quinn [5:10 AM]
D and C reports: 'The cap-strapped Jaguars can't pay Quinn more than the veteran minimum to return, but money is not the issue for him, opportunity is. That makes the Bills attractive.'

Marker Kelly at Eastview [5:09 AM]
D and C reports: 'Buffalo Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly will be at Eastview Mall in Victor tonight from 6-8 p.m. to sign this year's Hunter's Hope Boyds Bear.'

Marker McKinney accepts 5-year Texans deal [5:08 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: 'Meanwhile, it's just a matter of time before free-agent quarterback Rob Johnson officially is a Texan, if you listen to the native Californian. Johnson has made it clear Houston is his first choice and that he is willing to take less money to play for the Texans, who are prepared to make a one-year, $1 million commitment to the former Buffalo Bill.'

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March 5, 2002

Marker Carpenter knows Phillips' defensive system [9:36 PM]
ESPN reports: @ The first effect of hiring Wade Phillips as the Atlanta Falcons' defensive coordinator came Tuesday when learned that the team reached a contract agreement in principle with free safety Keion Carpenter.

Marker Second guessers make their points [9:34 PM]
Buffalo Business First reports: @ Outside Western New York, Buffalo is best known these days for snowstorms, chicken wings and a pair of professional sports teams. But anyone who has spent more than a week a or two here, knows that second guessing is really the region's forté. Orchard Park has been home for the Buffalo Bills since 1973, but a segment of the second-guessing population still talks about impact a city football stadium would have had.

Marker Former Bills QB Johnson visiting Houston Texans [7:28 PM]
AP reports: 'Johnson said he is also talking to Tampa Bay, Cincinnati and Baltimore but didn't see anything stopping a deal with the Texans.'

Marker Fletcher meets with Bills over starting linebacker's job [7:26 PM]
AP reports: 'Fletcher's agent Anthony Paige said his client is keenly interested in playing for the Bills, who have a starting job available and have a defensive-minded head coach in Gregg Williams, a former Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator.'

Marker Holmes, other free agents find market is slow [2:00 PM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Donahoe might be interested in a couple of Steelers, including Holmes and kicker Kris Brown, a restricted free agent.'

Marker 2002 Bills don't get you excited [1:27 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'There's pretty much no reason to be excited about the 2002 Bills. Worse, at least right now, the current team isn't nearly as good as the one Donahoe inherited.'

Marker Fletcher to visit Bills; Cowart at Jets [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Fletcher, 26, is a four-year veteran who led the Rams in tackles this year and was an alternate to the Pro Bowl.'

Marker Farrior patient while Jets entertain OLBs [9:06 AM]
Bergen Record reports: 'Cowart, who spent his first four NFL seasons with Buffalo, will meet today and possibly Wednesday with Bradway, coach Herman Edwards, and defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, his coordinator with the Bills.'

Marker Bills set to meet with Fletcher [8:16 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'While the Bills clearly have far more room to manuever under the salary cap now than they did this time a year ago, Fletcher's asking price may be too high anyway. But the fact the Bills are apparently going to the trouble to fly him in and talk to him could signal they are looking for options in their talks with Cowart, who is coming off an achilles injury.'

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