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Buffalo Bills News - December 21, 2000

Marker Sacking the general manager [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'With a San Diego job reportedly his for the asking and his stock extremely high in football circles, who can blame Butler for wanting to test the post-season market to see what he's worth? It's not a good idea, though, to ignore the boss.'

Marker One more song for Flutie [7:47 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'With the John Butler era in Buffalo officially over, the final chapter of the Doug Flutie saga might soon be written as well.'

Marker Phillips dances the soft shoe [7:46 AM]
Toronto Star reports: '"My focus this week is on this ballgame," said Phillips, who is rumoured to be next in line for owner Ralph Wilson Jr.'s axe after Buffalo wraps up the regular season in Seattle on Saturday night at Husky Stadium.'

Marker Bills have tough road to victory [6:41 AM]
Seattle Times reports: 'They are traveling cross country to play the Seahawks in a game that has none of the meaning Phillips had hoped it would have. But jobs for 2001, including his, are at risk.'

Marker 'If I can't hire you, I'll fire you' [6:36 AM]
CNN/SI reports: 'But the facts are these: Wilson's contract offers weren't competitive.'

Marker 'Tis the season to be jittery [6:32 AM]
D and C reports: 'Now that he's going [to Seattle this weekend], rumors are running rampant that Wilson may decide -- based on what happens in Seattle -- Phillips' future this weekend.'

Marker A Levy-Butler reunion not far-fetched [6:31 AM]
D and C reports: '"I had an excellent working relationship with John, just as I had a great working relationship with his predecessor, Bill Polian," Levy said when asked about that scenario. "I have great regard for John. Yes, that would be a desirable situation, but I don't even want to speculate about that."'

Marker Bills' new GM faces major problems with cap, offense [6:29 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills reportedly will be $11 million over the adjusted salary cap for 2001 and will have to pay big money to retain free agents Eric Moulds and Marcellus Wiley. The team will have to cut several high-priced veterans and is unlikely to have any money to attract any significant free agents.'

Marker Butler interested if Chargers hire a GM [6:29 AM]
AP reports: 'When asked about the speculation that he would be courted by other teams, specifically the Chargers, Butler said: "I didn't even have a chance to think about anything besides the Buffalo Bills. They were my team for 14 years."'

Marker Butler's dismissal raises serious questions for Bills [6:27 AM]
AP reports: 'A month ago, the Bills were 7-4 and in the thick of the playoff hunt. They've since lost four straight for the first time in 15 years, been decimated by injuries, and are playing out the season in a mean-nothing game at Seattle.'

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December 20, 2000

Marker Buffaloed [10:44 PM]
ESPNet reports: 'After four Super Bowls, 15 seasons and 941 catches in Buffalo, this is what the once-magical hands of Andre Reed have been reduced to. And each time a picture of Reed in a Bills uniform slides into his hand, it seems to make him a little sad.'

Marker Is Butler on call for Chargers' GM job? [1:32 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Chargers president Dean Spanos has said he would consider hiring a new general manager if the right man became available. That might have happened yesterday.'

Marker Bills' ex-boss has large appetite for winning [1:31 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '"He had heard the Chargers were holding a job open for Butler," said the source, "and when Ralph gets ticked off, he lashes out."'

Marker Butler won't be easily replaced [1:29 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'The owner, two more losses removed from those comments, conceded, "As far as Wade and the coaching staff is concerned, I'm here to talk about John Butler ... so I'd rather not comment." That's hardly a vote of confidence.'

Marker Butler Has An Extra Week To Explore His Options [1:27 PM]
Jamestown Post Journal reports: 'Put it this way: The 82-year-old Wilson isn't planning to take a cross-country flight on Christmas weekend to do sightseeing in the Pacific Northwest. The one thing he is going to take careful notice of, though, is the effort of the players.'

Marker Butler's Firing All About Timing [11:09 AM]
Buffalo Post reports: 'With the San Diego Chargers poised to make Butler an offer he couldn't refuse, and Wilson wouldn't match ... something had to be done as soon as

Marker Butler gets the boot [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Mr. Wilson is a shrewd businessman, and I think he wanted to sever ties with John Butler before he hit the open market. This way Wilson doesn't come off looking as though he couldn't compete."'

Marker Contract flap leads Wilson to oust GM [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'And it was clear from Wilson's description of events that Butler was not impressed enough by the contract offer the owner made in the past week.'

Marker Butler had long string of success stories [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Butler, considered among NFL's elite personnel minds, broke into the pros after legendary coach George Allen read a newspaper clipping about a part-time University of Evansville assistant who worked nights at a 7-Eleven to pay the bills.'

Marker Ralph's rush to judgment a sad spectacle [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He's 54 years old. He's widely regarded as the best GM on the market. This figures to be the contract of his life. You can't blame him for wanting to get the best deal out there.'

Marker Bills GM gets a present [7:04 AM]
National Post reports: 'By contrast, Butler used to start his day by chipping ice off the windshield and maybe listening to Ann Burke on the way to One Bills Drive.'

Marker Impatient Bills fire GM Butler [6:35 AM]
D and C reports: '"The reason for the dismissal is because John has refused to give me an answer as to his future intentions," Wilson said. "The time has come to move forward, and therefore I can wait no longer to see who will be the Bills' general manager after this season."'

Marker Bills owner decides Butler not interested [6:34 AM]
D and C reports: 'With a new season to plan for and no time to waste, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson said he couldn't wait for an answer from John Butler any longer.'

Marker Bills lose friend, not just GM [6:34 AM]
D and C reports: 'Agents reacted with shock. Butler was synonymous with the Bills and they said he bled for the team.'

Marker Smith, Adams have an inside shot [6:32 AM]
D and C reports: 'Long-time personnel men A.J. Smith and Dwight Adams are among the leading candidates to replace the fired John Butler as general manager of the Buffalo Bills.'

Marker Butler deserved better than this [6:32 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'With apologies to angry women everywhere, hell hath no fury as an NFL owner scorned.'

Marker Temporary insanity Bills' only explanation [6:31 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Yesterday at the Bills practice facility named after himself, Wilson stood at the podium looking for all the world like he had swallowed a lemon.'

December 19, 2000

Marker Petty problems in locker room doomed Bills GM Butler [8:42 PM]
SportsWritersDirect reports: '...Bills players paint a portrait of the worst quarterback controversy in recent memory, a poor work ethic and ridiculous team edicts that represent a child-care center more than a football team.'

Marker Buffalo's stupid move [8:24 PM]
Fox Sports reports: 'Listening to Wilson, it sounds as if Butler precipitated the move. But it is Wilson, not Butler, who is to blame for an exit the Bills will regret.'

Marker GM John Butler Fired! [5:07 PM]
Shout! reports: 'Owner Ralph Wilson was stunned over the whole thing. He was particularly disturbed that Butler seemingly did not want to stay with the Bills. Wilson said since July he talked to Butler six times about renewing his contract, but Butler was non-committal each time - as if he had some place to go already, or he wanted to be somewhere other than Buffalo all along.'

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09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
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11/29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
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01/03 New York Jets 1:00 pm

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