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Buffalo Bills News - March 3, 2002

Marker Tackles measure up at combine [9:27 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'McKinnie and Williams - the top two offensive linemen in the NFL draft this year - are the kind of behemoths that are rare even by the oversized standards of pro football.'

Marker It's not a good time to be a free agent QB [9:25 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Considering how Johnson's situation had soured here - especially in the locker room where his teammates liked him but simply did not believe in him - it's probably a better career move for him.'

Marker Bills, Sabres fans are gnashing teeth for no good reason [9:24 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The problem is that the patience of Buffalo fans with young pro athletes, gauged on a scale of 1 through 10, measures around a minus-14.'

Marker Thousands rally to Children's defense [9:22 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and his wife, Jill, shared the podium to praise the work of doctors at Children's Hospital in caring for their 5-year-old son, Hunter, who suffers from Krabbe disease, and their two daughters.'

Marker You scratch my ego . . . [9:21 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The wordplay between former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt ended in a tie, with each scoring a verbal touchdown, at a news conference last week to promote Saturday's rally to keep Children's Hospital on Bryant Street.'

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March 2, 2002

Marker Will Riemersma Accept A Paycut? [7:00 PM]
ESPN reports: The Bills have asked tight end Jay Riemersma to take a pay cut of $1.25 million on his base salary but are only offering the opportunity to earn back $500,000 of that in incentives. If he balks, Riemersma could be the next tight end to be released. ...

Marker There's a kicker [2:07 PM]
ESPN reports: Don't be surprised if the Buffalo Bills sign Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Kris Brown, who is a restricted free agent, to an offer sheet. The three-year veteran is coming off a miserable year, of course, one in which he missed a league-high 14 field goal attempts. But Bills general manager Tom Donahoe drafted Brown during his tenure in Pittsburgh, feels the kicker might benefit from a change of scenery, and wouldn't mind tweaking Steelers officials a bit.

Marker Ex-Bill Talley is given as example why free agency does not work [9:48 AM]
ESPN reports: In 1995 the Atlanta Falcons signed linebacker Darryl Talley, a Pro Bowl performer during his years in Buffalo, as an unrestricted free agent. They quickly found out that Talley, who played well in the Bills 3-4 defensive front, could not handle the move to a 4-3 design. Talley became not only a bad player, an aging and intransigent veteran who couldn't understand why he could not play up to his previous level, but eventually a locker room malcontent.

Marker 'Tennessee' Williams makes play on ex-Titans [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills' head coach said Friday he is interested in pursuing safety Blaine Bishop and linebacker Eddie Robinson.'

Marker Bills on QB Blake's free-agent tour list [6:38 AM]
D and C reports: '"I want to start in this league and there are a couple teams that want me to be their starter," said Blake, who plans to shop around. "I don't think I'll be out of a job next year."'

Marker Bills were right to cut Johnson [6:37 AM]
D and C reports: 'But Johnson always will be my prime example of why the NFL's complicated passer rating system is flawed. The formula rewards him for what he does best and completely ignores his major flaw -- getting sacked.'

Marker Saints unload Blake [6:36 AM]
New Orleans Times Picayune reports: 'Blake said Houston, Baltimore, Washington, Chicago, Carolina and Buffalo have shown interest in him.'

Marker Saints cut costly Blake in attempt to clear salary cap [6:35 AM]
Biloxi Sun Herald reports: 'The Bills will probably now take a run at Blake as a free agent.'

Marker Saints dump QB Blake to make salary cap room [6:34 AM]
Mobile Register reports: 'Saints general manager Randy Mueller tried to trade Blake to the Buffalo Bills Friday but neither team could agree on compensation for the veteran quarterback so he was released by the Saints.'

Marker Bishop, Robinson getting interest from Williams' Bills [6:33 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'Safety Blaine Bishop, released by the Titans on Thursday, spoke yesterday with Buffalo Bills Coach Gregg Williams and, not surprisingly, there is interest on both sides.'

The Titans may also have some stiff competition for defensive tackle Jason Fisk. His agent, Josh Wright, said Fisk is heading to Indianapolis tonight and will meet with representatives from the Browns, Bills and 49ers.

Marker Saints release QB Blake [6:32 AM]
Sportsticker reports: 'The Buffalo Bills, who released quarterback Rob Johnson on Thursday, could be among the teams interested in the 31 year-old Blake's services.'

March 1, 2002

Marker Speculation on Cowart [11:42 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: Possible suitors: Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, New York Giants, Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons. Reports out of Buffalo indicate that Cowart, despite missing all of last season with an Achilles injury, will demand a signing bonus in the neighborhood of $10 million. That eliminates teams like Jacksonville and Baltimore, who have the need but lack the cash. Houston, with its 3-4 defense and cap room, makes sense. The Giants need a replacement for Jessie Armstead, and the cap-strapped Jets could find a way to make Cowart work and keep him in New York with Marvin Jones and James Farrior on the market. Atlanta, with talent like Keith Brooking, Chris Draft and Mark Simoneau at :B, could use a player like Cowart if new DC Phillips decides to go to a 4-3 look. Cap concerns - the Falcons are only $800,000 under the cap at this writing - and the likelihood that owner Arthur Blank wants to spend his money on offensive players to surround Michael Vick could nix such a deal.

Marker Buchsbaum's look at players released [11:37 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: @ After being cut by Buffalo, QB Rob Johnson will have to take the veteran's minimum, with incentives, in order to get a job with another NFL team. Johnson is a workout warrior, very smart, tough - you can't say a bad thing about him if you go off practice tapes. He throws the ball beautifully, has a strong arm, and is not immobile. The problem is that Johnson is a thinker, not a reactor in games. He's got to see the play develop, think about it and then go, and that takes way too long. As a result, he holds onto the ball way too long, gets sacked way too many times and gets injured because he?s holding onto the ball so long and is so focused that he has almost no peripheral vision for the rush.

Marker Bills don't tend offers to three [11:14 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: @ The Buffalo Bills did not tender offers to 3 players, including LB Kenyatta Wright, making them restricted free agents Friday. Joining Wright are offensive lineman Craig Heimburger and safety Keion Carpenter, according to a list of free agents released by the NFL.

Wright struggled in an attempt to help take over for Sam Cowart, who partially tore his Achilles' tendon in the Bills' season opener. After appearing in Buffalo's first 11 games, Wright was listed as inactive for the final five games.

Marker Reinfeldt turns down offer to be Falcons' GM [11:08 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: @ With Seattle Seahawks vice president Mike Reinfeldt turning down the job, the Falcons' other options are Saints general manager Randy Mueller and Tom Modrak, the Buffalo Bills' director of player personnel. Modrak would fill the personnel side of the job, but that could force the Falcons to make another hire to handle the business side.

Marker Where are they now - Mark Pike [10:54 PM] reports: @ Update on the bigger half of the Bills Special Teams Demon Pair, Tasker and Pike. He owns 3 health clubs back home in Cincinnati and in North Kentucky area.

Marker Saints release Jeff Blake......Bills Interested? [10:49 PM] reports: Now that the Saints have released Blake, the Bills have the ability to sign him as an UFA and do not have to absorb his salary cap figure. There were rumors the Bills were waiting for New Orleans to release him before they actively pursued Blake. Will Blake land in Buffalo to compete with Van Pelt for the starting job in 2002?

Marker Bills fail to tender offers to Wright, Heimburger and Carpenter [7:43 PM]
AP reports: 'The Buffalo Bills did not tender offers to three players, including linebacker Kenyatta Wright, making them restricted free agents Friday. Joining Wright are offensive lineman Craig Heimburger and safety Keion Carpenter, according to a list of free agents released by the NFL.'

Marker Western New Yorkers react to Rob Johnson's departure [4:33 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: '"Fortunately we didn't have a lot of Johnson inventory, it won't hurt us," Russo says. "But we'll have to take additional mark downs in order to clear it out."'

Marker Lions, Bills will look long, hard at a Duck [12:02 PM]
CNN/SI reports: @ At the combine, two teams very interested in Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington will be Detroit and Buffalo, who are scheduled to pick third and fourth in the first round of April's draft. Either team could draft Harrington. Either team could be open to trading down.

Marker Free agency begins with most teams in cap trouble [11:56 AM]
CNN/SI reports: @ There will be relatively few prime players available. Some of the best, in fact, may be players released for cap reasons in the past week or so. One player who could elicit interest is quarterback Rob Johnson, released Thursday by the Buffalo Bills, who had hoped when they signed him that he would be their long-term quarterback.

Marker Van Pelt tops Bills depth chart after Johnson's release [11:41 AM]
Fox Sports reports: @ Overall, Johnson went 9-18 as a starter and failed to finish 11 of 27 games he started. Van Pelt said bad luck played a big hand in Johnson's tenure in Buffalo. "It was just some freaky things that would sometimes knock him out," Van Pelt said. "Maybe it was bad luck."

Marker Johnson happy to cut [11:09 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: @ Rob Johnson, once considered the Buffalo Bills' long-term quarterback, was released by the team Thursday, proving too expensive, inconsistent and injury-prone.

"I'm kind of happy, really," Johnson said.

Marker Bills sack injury-prone Rob Johnson [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He finished his Bills career as the franchise's most accurate passer, hitting on 60.48 percent to nose out Jim Kelly (60.13 percent). Johnson also had the lowest interception percentage (2.56) of any Bills QB, being picked off only 17 times on 663 attempts.'

Marker Johnson's departure official [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He collected $18.85 million of the original $25 million contract he signed with the team.'

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09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
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09/27 @ Miami Dolphins 4:25 pm
10/04 New York Giants 1:00 pm
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10/25 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 9:30 am
11/08 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
11/12 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/23 @ New England Patriots 8:30 pm
11/29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/6 Houston Texans 1:00 pm
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01/03 New York Jets 1:00 pm

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