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Buffalo Bills News - March 4, 2015

Marker Bills get their workhorse running back in Eagles’ McCoy [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But the Bills’ defense ended up faring just fine without Alonso in 2014. The team finished fourth in the league in both yards and points allowed. Additionally, rookie Preston Brown and third-year veteran Nigel Bradham proved to be young, every-down linebackers with similar skill sets to Alonso.'

Marker Major trade shows Bills are serious [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'You don’t carry the ball 300 times two years in a row if you’re not willing to go between the tackles and take a featured back’s physical pounding. Ryan and general manager Doug Whaley are banking on it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t invest $9.75 million in a back.'

Marker Blockbuster: Bills to acquire Eagles' star RB McCoy [1:57 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"(Ryan is) going to get Shady the ball any way that he possibly can," said Tomlinson. "He's going to utilize all of the assets that Shady McCoy brings to a team. That means running screen routes, possibly lining him out on the outside and create mismatches. They're going to try to get this guy the ball as much as possible. We all know that Rex Ryan leans on that run game; that's what he wants to do. He wants to control the pace of the game with the run game. This guy, LeSean McCoy has proven that he can do that. I think it's going to be a perfect marriage with LeSean McCoy and Rex Ryan."'

Marker Spiller: Manuel can't be 'buddy-buddy' with Bills [1:56 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"(You're) the face of the franchise, (you're) the quarterback, so you have to demand certain things; you have to demand everything," Spiller continued. "You have to let the receivers know where they should be if they want to get the ball. You have to the let the running back know, 'This is where the blitz is coming from, I need you to get over there and pick it up.' I think early on, he just really didn't understand how to step on guys' toes. Once Kyle took over, he (saw) how Kyle did it, and that kinda helped him."'

Marker Buffalo Bills trade Kiko Alonso to Philadelphia Eagles for LeSean McCoy, according to report [1:55 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Alonso, who was the Bills' second-round pick in 2013, spent the 2014 season on injured reserve with a torn ACL. He was named as the PFWA defensive rookie of the year after piling up 159 tackles in his first season in the league.'

Marker C.J. Spiller says he's not returning to Buffalo Bills after LeSean McCoy trade [1:54 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'The Bills contacted Spiller after the trade to thank him for his time in Buffalo. Once the Bills acquired McCoy, who has a similar running style to Spiller but has been a far more productive back during his career, keeping Spiller in the fold didn't make sense.'

Marker Eric Wood, other Buffalo Bills players react to LeSean McCoy for Kiko Alonso trade [1:53 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Within minutes, NFL Network and ESPN were breaking down the trade while seemingly everyone on Twitter had an opinion. The players still on the Bills' roster had quite the reactions to losing a star defensive player and gaining another superstar on offense.'

Marker C.J. Spiller says Bills QB EJ Manuel needs to step on more toes and be less 'buddy-buddy' [1:52 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: '"Once Kyle took over, he (saw) how Kyle did it and it kind of helped him," Spiller said. "He does tremendous work. He comes to work every day prepares, unbelievable, he's in the first, leaving late, last one to leave. So he has all that stuff. It was just that 'buddy-buddy.' You know how it is. You come in with some guys and you really don't want to step on any toes. But as the quarterback you have to do that."'

Marker NFL free agency primer: Where do Buffalo Bills stand after franchise tag deadline? [1:51 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'The NFLPA announced the cap figures for every team in the NFL Monday, and the Buffalo Bills' number is $145,781,930. The official NFL salary cap for 2015 is $143.28 million, but the Bills rolled over a little more than $2 million from last year. This all means that the Bills will end up with a little over $27 million in cap space, according to the NFLPA.'

Marker Breaking down the pending McCoy-Alonso trade [1:50 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'The odds appear greater than not that Alonso will turn out to be a perennial elite middle linebacker for the Eagles. McCoy might be closing in fast on the dreaded running-back wall.'

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March 3, 2015

Marker Report: Eagles to trade LeSean McCoy to Bills for LB Kiko Alonso [8:23 PM]
CSN Philadelphia reports: 'The move both saves the Eagles boatloads in cap space and reflects the massive roster turnover occurring as Chip Kelly prepares for his third season as head coach and first as personnel czar. Kelly, who recently assumed total personnel control, has been ridding the roster of high-priced veterans and Andy Reid holdovers as the team heads toward free agency.'

Marker Report: Eagles to trade McCoy [8:21 PM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'This is the latest in a day of blockbuster Eagles news. First, the Eagles announced the release of defensive back Cary Willliams. Then, ESPN reported that defensive end Trent Cole would be released.'

Marker Eagles to trade LeSean McCoy to the Bills for LB Kiko Alonso [8:19 PM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'Kelly, who was given complete control over football operations this offseason, has been clearing the roster of high-profile players that pre-dated his arrival. He released wide receiver DeSean Jackson last March, decided to move on from the Eagles' two longest-tenured players in guard Todd Herremans and linebacker Trent Cole and is now set to deal the franchise running back.'

Marker AP source: Eagles deal running back McCoy for Bills' Alonso [8:16 PM]
AP reports: 'McCoy had an inconsistent season last year after leading the NFL with 1,607 yards rushing in 2013. At his best, McCoy is an elite multidimensional running back who has been a proven threat as both a runner and receiver.'

Marker LeSean McCoy traded to Bills [8:15 PM]
ESPN reports: 'An Oregon product, Alonso will reunite with his former college coach, Chip Kelly, who will enter his third season in Philadelphia. Without Alonso, the Bills' top options at linebacker next season will be Nigel Bradham and Preston Brown. They could also re-sign Brandon Spikes or add a free agent like David Harris, who played under Ryan with the Jets.'

Marker Report: Eagles to trade LeSean McCoy to Bills [8:14 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'He led the NFL in both rushing yards and yards from scrimmage in 2013 but saw a dropoff in both categories last season. The six-year NFL veteran would have cost the Eagles close to $12 million against the salary cap in 2015.'

Marker Report: Bills pull off blockbuster, trade Kiko Alonso for LeSean McCoy [8:13 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The move to acquire McCoy spells the end for C.J. Spiller's tenure in Buffalo, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Spiller told NFL Network shortly after the trade news broke that the Bills called him to thank him for his services.'

Marker Fit for Bills? QB Jake Locker [8:12 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Of the remaining options in free agency, Locker is the only player a front office member should be ‘pounding the table’ for. Still only 26, the former first-round pick only has 23 starts to his name, and he actually showed signs of improvement in the starts over 2013 and 2014. There are clear examples of games that Locker, quite frankly, just didn’t have it (see: Cincinnati in 2014). However, if the Bills are looking for the lesser of the evils, and for the quarterback that could be the biggest hit of those available, it’s hard to look anywhere other than with Locker. The injuries are of course an issue, and should be considered for contractual purposes. Also, be prepared, he is not a perfect player, and likely will never be anything but average. However, with where the Bills are in terms of the rest of their roster, average will suffice in a bid for the playoffs.'

Marker Fit for Bills? TE Jermaine Gresham [8:12 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The Bills would likely add more to the position, but Gresham could be a cost-effective option at tight end if they swing and miss on the upper-echelon of free agents like Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron or Charles Clay. Buffalo absolutely should take a swing on one of the top three, simply because they can add an element to the passing attack that doesn’t currently exist on their roster. Gresham wouldn’t be a big step up in pass-catching, but he is more of an all-around player than Scott Chandler. He would be a suitable Plan B if all else fails.'

Marker Buffalo Bills decide not to use franchise tag on Jerry Hughes [1:59 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'If the Bills had given the franchise tag to Hughes, and he played under it, he would have made $14.813 million in 2015. Instead, the Bills have between now and March 7 to come to terms with Hughes before other teams can begin negotiating with him. Free agency opens officially on March 10 at 4 p.m.'

Marker Buffalo Bills free agency preview: Rex Ryan era begins [1:58 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'Offensive guard Chris Williams signed a four-year deal last offseason, but he comes with a $3.35 million hit against the cap. Williams doesn't appear to be a natural fit for the power-blocking scheme offensive coordinator Greg Roman runs.'

Marker Bills decide against using franchise tag [1:57 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'In addition to Hughes, the other notable free agents coming from the Bills roster are running back C.J. Spiller and safety Da’Norris Searcy. Teams can begin to contact the representation of unrestricted free agents starting on March 7, leading to the beginning of the free agency on March 10 at 4 pm when players can start to officially sign with other teams.'

March 2, 2015

Marker Josh McCown signing with Browns puts Bills in tough spot at QB [1:59 AM]
CBS Sports reports: 'The pickings are quite slim. Let's look at the Bills' five best options.'

March 1, 2015

Marker A variety of QB choices to add to Bills’ shopping cart [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“You do ‘ground and pound’ for a reason, and that’s because you don’t want to turn the ball over and you want to give the defense an opportunity to catch its breath,” Polian said. “So if you have a quarterback that has a propensity for turnovers, then it’s going to be difficult to maintain that kind of approach. I also might be inclined to go with a younger guy who might have some upside.”'

Marker Corbin Bryant makes good use of offseason down time [1:58 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Bryant, who’s spent the last two years as a backup on the Bills defensive line, is in the middle of a three week stint with Under Armour, as part of the National Football League Players Association’s Externship program. The program, in its second year, is set up to allow current players to get experience with businesses they’re interested in working for when their football playing days are over.'

February 28, 2015

Marker QB McCown signs with the Browns [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'McCown, a 12-year veteran, reportedly chose between the Browns and Bills, because they were the only ones offering him a chance to be a starter.'

Marker Will Buffalo Bills make run at Darrelle Revis in free agency [1:58 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'The Bills have been connected to Darrelle Revis ever since hiring Rex Ryan. Ryan and Revis loved working together in New York, and there's plenty of reason for Ryan to want to bring one of the best cornerbacks in football to Buffalo. But will the Patriots let him go? They are reportedly prioritizing bringing him back, but it won't be easy with safety Devin McCourty also needing a new contract. If he becomes available, I expect the Bills will at least kick the tires on Revis, because that's what Ryan does. That said, odds are better that he won't end up in Buffalo.'

Marker No More McCown; QB picks Browns over Bills [1:57 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the 35-year old McCown signed a three-year contract with the Browns to compete with Johnny Manziel for the starting quarterback job. He was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier in the month after accruing a 1-10 record in 2014. In his career, McCown thrown for 61 touchdowns to 59 interceptions.'

February 27, 2015

Marker Bills making a push to sign QB McCown [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Another NFL source said McCown is likely to sign a one- or two-year contract that would pay him about $5 million annually, the amount 10-year veteran Kyle Orton received for the one-year deal he signed with the Bills shortly before the start of the 2014 season. Orton took over for EJ Manuel after the fourth game and made 12 starts. A day after the season, Orton announced his retirement.'

Marker UB engineers try to iron out wrinkles in Bills’ schedule [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The study, “Alleviating Competitive Imbalances in NFL Schedules: An Integer-Programming Approach,” will be presented Friday at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston.'

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