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Buffalo Bills News - April 13, 2003

Marker Bills could be in a rush to land D-linemen in draft [9:20 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills could use another option in their pass rush. At one end they have Aaron Schobel, who is developing into a nice player. He had 6 1/2 sacks as a rookie and 8 1/2 last season. At the other end is Marcus Jones, whom President and General Manager Tom Donahoe shrewdly signed in November. Jones tore cartilage in his knee last August and was cut by the Bucs at midseason.'

Marker Butler stuck to the basics - family and football - to the end [9:19 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills were a team of stars in the glory years, but Butler and his scouts had a rare gift for identifying late-round picks - Jeff Wright, Marvcus Patton, Carlton Bailey, Mike Lodish - the list goes on and on. He and A.J. Smith, the pro personnel guy he took with him to San Diego, had a knack for plucking the right free agents, too.'

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April 12, 2003

Marker Chargers' GM dies at 56 [9:57 AM]
North County Times reports: 'Spurred by Butler's deft drafting, the Bills went 140-83 in that period ---- second only to the San Francisco 49ers ---- and made the playoffs 10 times, including the four Super Bowls from 1991 through '94.'

Marker Chargers will miss Butler [9:56 AM]
North County Times reports: 'Smith, Butler's right-hand man and confidant going back to their days as scouts for the Chicago Blitz of the United States Football League in 1982, may find himself in charge of more than the draft. He has a good chance of becoming the Chargers' general manager permanently, a team source said. Smith was said to have been devastated by Butler's death and declined to be interviewed through a Chargers spokesman.'

Marker There was more to Butler than football [9:55 AM]
North County Times reports: 'His public image of tough, ex-Marine, old-school football mind was not the man I came to know in the last year. I found him to be funny but very focused on his work. And there was more depth to this man than I would have ever imagined.'

Marker Fond thoughts of Butler are plentiful [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's one of the saddest days in Bills history," said Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly. "It's sad. But it's really not up to us. The good Lord above picks the time when you leave, and I guess it was John's time. The toughest thing for me is I know how much of a fighter he is and how much he always had that never-say-die attitude."'

Marker Bills owner to receive award [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Wilson is being honored for his commitment to the area and his philanthropy. He donated $25,000 to food banks in Buffalo and Rochester last holiday season and plays a leading role in the team's relationships with Women's and Children's Hospital, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the United Way and Ronald McDonald House.'

Marker Butler never lost sense of humor [6:52 AM]
D and C reports: 'It would be nice to see his name affixed to the Wall of Fame at Ralph Wilson Stadium some day in the not-so-distant future.'

Marker Butler was a great GM, a good friend and ‘way cool’ [6:51 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'The exact circumstances of his exit from Buffalo and hiring in San Diego are murky.Wilson maintains that Butler had made up his mind to leave and no amount of money would have kept him with the Bills. Members of the front office say he’d have stayed had he been paid a competitive wage rather than being nickeled and dimed. No matter, 27 months ago, Butler, without a contract in Buffalo, signed with the Chargers.'

Marker 'We have lost a giant' [6:50 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Levy said Butler showed up for his interview in Buffalo with a sheaf of paperwork detailing how he would conduct himself in the post for which he was being considered.'

Marker Butler earned respect right to the very end [6:49 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Said Marcellus Wiley, who also played for Butler in Buffalo and San Diego: "Coming into the league, he had tremendous faith in me. He respected my potential and my work ethic and we grew to have a great relationship. I really respected him because he was so passionate. Through the years I've grown to love and respect him as a man . . . I'll always remember John as a guy who wanted you to do your job and do it the right way. It's going to be a tremendous loss to the football world, but an even bigger loss to humanity."'

Marker Butler's widow cherishes final days [6:48 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'The Butlers knew the end was coming. Tests Monday revealed lymphoma in John Butler's body more aggressive than doctors had ever seen.'

Marker He was a tough man and ran team same way [6:47 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '"John was a tough guy," Spanos was saying yesterday, "but he was a softie, too, especially when it came to his daughter. Andrea was the apple of his eye."'

Marker Bledsoe drops back on price of his house [5:46 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'Eight months after listing his Medfield home for $9 million, former New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe has yet to sell the house, and recently cut the price to $6.5 million.'

Marker A fond farewell [5:45 AM]
CNN/SI reports: 'What I'll remember about John Butler is that he was a man who seemed to care most about his family and his football team. And one who was predisposed to fight the good fight. No matter the arena.'

Marker Butler loved his job, and it showed [5:44 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'While teams like San Francisco and Dallas faded away, Buffalo continued to stay on top through the 1990s — largely because Butler and his scouts were able to replace aging veterans with talent acquired through the draft. There was Eric Moulds. And Reuben Brown. And Peerless Price, Antoine Winfield, Sam Cowart and Marcellus Wiley.'

April 11, 2003

Marker Former Buffalo Bills General Manager John Butler Dies [5:24 PM]
WGR-AM reports: Sad news for Bills fans as former GM John Butler has succumb to cancer. Butler, was diagnosed with cancer nine months ago was just 56 years old.

Marker Remembering Former Bills G.M. John Butler [4:42 PM] reports: Charley Ferguson - "John will be well missed. He was a good person for talent, a man who really did his job well, got along with the fans and the players and really helped to continue to turn things around here. He believed in the Alumni and was a strong Alumni supporter."

Marker Former Bills G.M. John Butler Passes Away [4:42 PM] reports: Orchard Park, NY - The Bills organization was saddened today by the news that former General Manager John Butler has passed away at the age of 56. Butler had been diagnosed with cancer last July and died of complications from the disease this morning. A native of Illinois, Butler had several stops throughout the country during his career but spent 14 years - one quarter of his life - working for the Buffalo Bills.

Marker Chargers GM Butler dies of cancer [2:46 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Butler's first-ever selection for Buffalo and his top choice in 1988 was running back Thurman Thomas, who was chosen in the second round after 27 teams passed on him. Buffalo's top pick in 1989 wasn't until the third round and Butler selected receiver Don Beebe, who played for six Super Bowl teams. Perennial Pro Bowl guard Ruben Brown, Pro Bowl receiver Eric Moulds, running back Antowain Smith and cornerback Antoine Winfield were also among Butler's first-round picks in Buffalo.'

Marker San Diego general manager Butler dies at 56 [1:30 PM]
AP reports: 'Butler’s NFL tenure spanned 18 seasons, including four in San Diego and 14 with Buffalo from 1987-2000, where he had a hand in making the Bills one of the NFL’s most-successful teams of the 1990s. Buffalo went to the playoffs 10 times and had a 140-83 (.628) record during his time with the team, second only to San Francisco’s 156-67 (.699) record during that period.'

Marker Former Bills GM John Butler succumbs to cancer [1:12 PM] reports: 'Chargers General Manager John Butler, who was diagnosed with cancer last July, died of complications from the disease on Friday morning. He was 56.'

Talk about your memories of Mr. Butler on The Stadium Wall.

Marker Player Profile: Dainon Sidney [9:33 AM] reports: Speedy cornerback who provides experience and depth to young secondary. ideal for "gunner" position on punt coverage with speed and size…drafted by Tennessee in third round (77th overall) in 1998.

Marker Win a Josh Reed Autographed Media Guide [9:18 AM] reports: Win a 2002 Buffalo Bills Media Guide autographed by wide receiver Josh Reed! Subscribe to the Bills E-Newsletter The winner will be notified via e-mail on April 11, 2003.

Marker Bills add former Titan to cornerback collection [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I think this is a chance for a fresh start and most important the Bills wanted me," Sidney said. "They say they're going to give me a chance to compete like everyone else. I don't think they're going to sign a guy just to sit."'

Marker Bills interview guard O'Hara [7:40 AM]
Cleveland Plain Dealer reports: '"We like the kid, but it didn't seem to be the right fit," said Tom Donahoe, Bills GM. "He probably projects to start there, I imagine, and for us he probably wouldn't. So he may be in a better situation where he is." Restricted free agents, such as O'Hara, have until next Thursday to sign an offer sheet from other teams.'

Marker Former Bill Hollis a Giant [5:24 AM]
D and C reports: 'Place-kicker Mike Hollis, who played for the Buffalo Bills last season, has signed with the New York Giants.'

Marker Bills signings give Bledsoe's step a bounce [5:23 AM]
D and C reports: '“Josh made some big plays for us as a rookie, and he’s been working really hard this off-season,” Bledsoe said. “He doesn’t have that blazing, stretch-the-field speed that Peerless has, but he’s a dependable guy who’s tough to bring down after he catches it. We are looking for big things out of him, and he’ll be helped by (free agent acquisition) Bobby Shaw.”'

Marker Sidney ready to start over in Buffalo [5:22 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'Sidney, a third round draft pick by the Titans in 1998, will be reunited with several familiar faces in Buffalo. His former defensive coordinator with the Titans, Gregg Williams, is now head coach of the Bills, and his old position coach in Tennessee, Jerry Gray, is Buffalo's defensive coordinator.'

Marker Sidney shuffles off to Buffalo [5:21 AM]
Nashville City Paper reports: 'Sidney signed for the NFL veteran minimum of $530,000 and also received a $25,000 signing bonus.'

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