Inside The Bills

Practice participation update

Posted by Chris Brown on July 30, 2009 – 11:26 pm

Non participants at practice are as follows.

Copeland Bryan
Jairus Byrd
Marcus Smith
Dustin Fox
John McCargo
Ventrell Jenkins
Shawn Nelson
Steve Johnson
Also Hardy and Hawthorne

Nelson is close to returning. He was working with trainers this morning.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

DB Fox a new non-participant

Posted by Chris Brown on July 29, 2009 – 5:37 pm

Dustin Fox is not practicing. Also on the non-participation list are Shawn Nelson, Steve Johnson, Copeland Bryan and P.K. Sam.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Hamdan and Fox re-signed

Posted by Chris Brown on February 26, 2009 – 11:18 pm

For those that chose not to read the whole writeup on the RFAs, Gibran Hamdan was re-signed to a new contract as was fellow restricted free agent Dustin Fox. Both signed right before the deadline allowing the Bills to avoid putting a restricted tender on them.

I don’t have the contract numbers, but presumably Hamdan and Fox signed for less per season than the minimum tender $1.01M.

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2009 restricted free agent tender amounts

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2009 – 5:07 pm

For 2009 the restricted free agent tender amounts have gone up again and are really becoming cost prohibitive for NFL teams. Once again there is a low tender, middle tender and two high tenders that teams can use on players to not only give them the right of first refusal if said player is presented with an offer sheet from another team, but increased draft pick compensation as well.

Here are the tender amounts

Low tender – right of first refusal & original draft pick – $1.01 million

(So if Keith Ellison were tendered at this level by Buffalo, another team signed him to an offer sheet and the Bills chose not to match they’d be compensated with a 6th-round pick since Ellison was a 6th round draft choice)

Middle tender – right of first refusal & 2nd round pick – $1.545 million

(Compensation is a 2nd round pick if original club chooses not to match any offer sheet)

High tender – right of first refusal & 1st round pick – $2.198 million

Highest tender – right of first refusal & 1st and 3rd round picks – $2.792 million

(When Michael Turner was a RFA two years ago he was tendered at this highest level)

The crazy thing is even the low tender is a big number now at over $1M. I’d expect more and more teams to sign restricted free agents to long term deals for less money per season than this low tender if they want one of their restricted free agents back in the fold. Buffalo did this with Jabari Greer two years ago. They didn’t tender him at all and re-signed him to a modest two-year deal.

They should be able to do that with the likes of George Wilson, Keith Ellison, Gibran Hamdan, Justin Jenkins or even John DiGiorgio, who is coming off ACL surgery, depending on who they want back.

Dustin Fox is the only other RFA, but in light of the fact that he did not make the opening day roster last year, I’m not confident he’s a top priority on this list.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-9

Posted by Chris Brown on January 9, 2009 – 4:19 pm

As always you can send your questions to me at and I’ll get back to you either personally or here on Fan Friday. Here we go.

1. Hey Chris,
I started to see draft talk on some sites this week. I know this is a bit premature, but how do you see the Bills going this year? Could this be a year were trading for a player may make more sense than making a first round pick?

CB: I doubt that the Bills are going to cough up their first round pick in a trade this year. I’m hoping the Bills take a defensive end with their top pick, provided the depth of talent is still there. I wanted to Buffalo to take a defensive tackle in 2003, but by the time the Bills were on the clock they were all gone and they took McGahee. But that would be my preference this spring.


2. Chris-
Is it too early to call James Hardy a bust and do you think the front office will add another receiver this off-season in case he is not able to contribute immediately next season?

CB: I think that is a possibility, but more so because James Hardy has a torn ACL to rehab from. He’s not a bust. Eric Moulds didn’t have a breakout season until his third year. The ACL is the issue. It’s usually 7-9 months before a player can come back. He tore it on Dec. 14, so he may not be full go for training camp. Missing all those spring practices and OTAs will hurt his development so I think they do need to add another receiver even if it’s just for a one or two-year deal.


3. Dear Chris,
Who do you think the Bills might pick up in this year’s free agency market?  There are some very high profile defensive ends (Suggs, Peppers), and some solid centers (Birk, Brown, Saturday, Meester) up for grabs.   The Bills have attempted to solve their biggest problems in the free agency market over the past two seasons.    Do you think they will try to make a splash at either of these positions?

CB: I think Birk and Brown are realistic. Saturday and Meester are more at the end of the line. As for DE Suggs and Peppers they will cost too much and Peppers has already been negotiating with Carolina to re-sign.

I believe the Bills get their pass rusher at the top of the draft this spring.


4. Hey Chris,
Were any Bills named pro bowl alternates?

CB: Yes, I blogged this a while back. Marshawn Lynch and Marcus Stroud were Pro Bowl alternates. We’ll see if someone pulls out of the game with an injury.


5. Chris,
What is the contract status with regards to free agents, both restricted and un- restricted.
Thank you for your help,

Mike Czerwonka

CB: Unrestricted – Kirk Chambers, Angelo Crowell, Melvin Fowler, Jabari Greer, Teddy Lehman, J.P. Losman, Corey McIntyre, Duke Preston, Jason Whittle.

Restricted – John DiGiorgio, Keith Ellison, Dustin Fox, Gibran Hamdan, Justin Jenkins, George Wilson.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Parrish, Lynch, Peters, Edwards all questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on December 19, 2008 – 5:32 pm

Roscoe Parrish was added to the injury report as questionable for Sunday after suffering a bruised knee during individual drills in practice Friday. For a full report go to the home page of

Marshawn Lynch (shoulder), Jason Peters (knee) and Trent Edwards (groin) are also listed as questionable, but all three are expected to play Sunday.

Dustin Fox (groin) is questionable. Teddy Lehman (groin) is out. Jabari Greer (knee) is doubtful as he was limited again Friday.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Lynch has a sore shoulder

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2008 – 8:02 pm

Bills head coach Dick Jauron stated that a sore shoulder is the reason for Marshawn Lynch’s non-participation at practice Wednesday.

I asked him if it was just an extra day of rest type deal and if he anticipates Marshawn practicing Thursday. Here was coach Jauron’s answer.

“We do (anticipate him practicing Thursday). We do,” he said. “We’ll just have to see where that one goes.”

Also not practicing was Teddy Lehman and Corey McIntyre was absent for personal reasons.

Jabari Greer (knee), Dustin Fox (groin), Trent Edwards (groin) and Jason Peters (sore knee) were all limited Wednesday.

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Bills-Jets inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2008 – 4:53 pm

Buffalo Bills
25-Xavier Omon
33-Jabari Greer
35-Dustin Fox
65-Jason Whittle
77-Demetrius Bell
87-Jonathan Stupar
5-Trent Edwards – 3rd QB

New York Jets
1-Mike Nugent
16-Brad Smith
30-Drew Coleman
32-J.R. Reed
36-David Barrett
56-Vernon Gholston
57-Jason Trusnik
5-Brett Ratliff – 3rd QB

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Practice update

Posted by Chris Brown on December 12, 2008 – 4:30 pm

Not practicing was Trent Edwards for a third straight day so he’s obviously not going to play Sunday.

Jabari Greer was also not practicing.

Dustin Fox was trying to practice, but looked limited. Also limited, but practicing was Robert Royal.

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Injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on December 11, 2008 – 7:33 pm

Donte Whitner practiced fully Thursday as did Josh Reed and Marcus Stroud, who also did not practice Wednesday.

Jabari Greer was limited and did not do as much as he did on Wednesday, but Dick Jauron said he has an “outside chance” of playing Sunday.

Trent Edwards did not practice at all as well as Aaron Schobel and Dustin Fox. Trent did a little light tossing at the beginning of practice, but it was not within the scope of practice. It was on the side.

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Whitner, Reed back practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on December 11, 2008 – 5:04 pm

Donte Whitner and Josh Reed are back practicing here on Thursday.

Participating but looking limited are Jabari Greer and Marcus Stroud.

Not practicing are Aaron Schobel and Dustin Fox. Fox is working on the side with trainers.

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Injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on December 10, 2008 – 8:01 pm

Trent Edwards (groin) missed practice again on Wednesday. He declined to elaborate on how his injury is healing.

Josh Reed (back) was suffering from back spasms and could not practice.

Marcus Stroud (hip) is dealing with a hip problem. Dick Jauron did not get into the severity of the injury.

Donte Whitner missed practice due to illness. No word on whether he’ll be able to practice Thursday.

Aaron Schobel was absent with the foot. Dustin Fox (groin) also did not practice.

Jabari Greer (knee) was limited in practice Wednesday, his first practice since suffering the injury against Cleveland a month ago.

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Trent still watching

Posted by Chris Brown on December 10, 2008 – 4:53 pm

Trent Edwards is still watching practice this week as he’s not participating here on Wednesday due to his groin injury.

We’ll have full coverage this afternoon on

Also not participating are Josh Reed, Dustin Fox and Marcus Stroud. Aaron Schobel and Donte Whitner are not in attendance.

Jabari Greer is participating, but appears a bit limited in his return from a knee injury.

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OT Walker okay, Trent, Schobel day-to-day

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2008 – 7:57 pm

Bills head coach Dick Jauron didn’t provide details as to how some of his injured players are faring early this week or if they have a chance to return to the lineup Sunday. But he did say that Langston Walker came out of the game okay after suffering a lower leg injury.

Walker limped off under his own power Sunday and has been dealing with a lingering ankle injury the past few weeks. No word on if it’s an ankle problem this time.

“Langston is okay,” said Jauron. “We’ll have to wait until Wednesday or Thursday.”

That comment indicates that Walker may not be practicing by Wednesday. As for Trent Edwards and Aaron Schobel, both are described as day-to-day.

Dustin Fox is likely to be on the shelf this week after suffering a groin injury, which means they may have to make a roster move to add a healthy fourth cornerback if Greer is not ready to return to action. Buffalo has just McGee, McKelvin and Corner fully healthy right now.

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Fan Friday 11-28

Posted by Chris Brown on November 28, 2008 – 7:35 pm

Fan Friday 11-28

Here’s the latest edition. If you have a question you’d like answered just e-mail me at

1. Why haven’t we been utilizing James Hardy in the red zone, more specifically inside the five? 


CB: That’s a good question. While it’s been no secret that Hardy is still working on grasping the playbook, having him run a fade pattern in the end zone doesn’t appear to be something that requires a lot of playbook retention. I saw Hardy on the field in the red zone on one occasion last week at KC, but he did not run a route into the end zone.

I understand that he might be coming along slowly in terms of the entire offense, but there’s no denying he’s a physical mismatch in the red zone and would create coverage dilemmas for an opposing secondary.

2. What do you think the chances of Teddy Lehman eventually stepping in for Ellison to provide more strength are?

CB: I think they’re remote unless Ellison is injured and Lehman is healthy. Right now Ellison is nursing a lingering ankle injury and will be a game time decision for Sunday. Unfortunately for Lehman he’s not healthy to fill the void if called upon because he has a hamstring injury of his own. Right now Bryan Scott would be the next guy to step in at linebacker.

Ellison is a heady player with a bit more athleticism than Lehman and it appears that is what the coaching staff covets at that position especially with stouter linebackers alongside Ellison already in Poz and Mitchell.

3. Dear Chris,
The offensive line appears to have regressed significantly this season.  It seems to me the biggest change has been Coach Jim McNally’s retirement; your thoughts?
Dick Sheehy

CB: There’s no question the offensive line has had its share of problems this season. However, I don’t think coach McNally’s retirement is the only change. Peters was a holdout curbing his development into an elite tackle, Butler was out for three games and they got so thin inside at one point that Kirk Chambers had to play guard. Now I’m not completely excusing the offensive line of criticism because of injuries, but they do play a factor.

With all due respect to coach McNally, the run game and effectiveness in short yardage were issues for this line last year. Marshawn Lynch only has four 100-yard rushing games in his career counting his day against the Browns. So it’s not like they were ripping yards off in huge chunks last year either. And on 3rd-and-1 last season Buffalo was one of the last teams in terms of conversion percentage in the league.

I actually think they have some of the same problems from last year to be honest.

4. Chris,
I was wondering if you had a complete and up-to-date list of Buffalo’s free agents for 2009. I did some research and here’s what I’ve got so far:

CB: Here you go
Unrestricted free agents – Angelo Crowell, Kirk Chambers, Melvin Fowler, Jabari Greer, J.P. Losman, Teddy Lehman, Corey McIntyre, Duke Preston, Jason Whittle.

Restricted free agents – John DiGiorgio, Keith Ellison, Dustin Fox, Gibran Hamdan, Justin Jenkins, George Wilson

5. Hey Chris, i was wondering, from everything that i’ve read so far, tolbert is saying that steve has a better grasp of the bill’s offense and that he’s better at adjusting to the defense he’s seeing, if that’s the case, why has it taken so long to get him involved in the offense? i’m not saying replacing reed (when healthy), but being in there in place of hardy earlier in the season.


CB: I think it’s due primarily to the fact that the grasp of the offense only started to happen for Johnson these past couple of weeks. Only in the past couple of weeks did the light bulb really go on for Johnson is how I understood Tyke.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fox provides versatility

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2008 – 4:25 pm

Adding Dustin Fox to the practice squad was a good move. I asked Dick Jauron if he was comfortable with just four cornerbacks on his active roster on Monday. He said he was, but that they’d keep looking.

Fox was one of the last men trimmed from the roster. I’d be willing to be he was player #54 or #55 back in early September. I was just surprised he wasn’t carried on the practice squad from the beginning of the season.

Nothing against Fox, but I thought the Bills might take a closer look at more of a pure cornerback like Fernando Bryant, who signed with Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Fox is more of a hybrid DB.

Of course if they signed Bryant they’d have to make a 53-man roster move immediately since he’s not practice squad eligible.

Makes no difference now. I just like the fact that they have someone in reserve that’s played in NFL games and can help in subpackages as a cover player or at safety should he be needed on the active roster. He’s one injury away.

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Posted in Inside the Bills
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