Inside The Bills

Fan Friday running Q&A

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2011 – 7:07 pm

Good evening Bills fans. Glad you could join me. As promised I’m going to be answering your training camp questions here tonight. So you know you can still submit your questions to my email account at I’ll be submitting as many of those questions with answers as possible below, so keep refreshing this page as I’ll be adding answers as I move through them. Hopefully your question or one very similar to your question gets answered tonight, otherwise I’ll get to your question in a future Fan Friday post or answer it personally. Just understand training camp is my busiest time of year, so I’ll get back to you as best I can. Thanks for your participation. Let’s get to your questions.

1 – Chris, 

How will the CB battle shape up in camp? In there a set starter or is the position up for grabs. With Drayton back does that push Aaron Williams to 4th slot. I liked Justin Rogers alot when they drafted him. It would be a waste for him not to play or even get cut due to 4 guys ahead of him. How many will the Bills keep on the opening day roster. 
Jack S.
CB: I think right now the entrenched starters are Terrence McGee and Drayton Florence. McGee has looked like his old self and the defensive staff has even experimented with him in the slot. I believe the top three are pretty much locked down with McKelvin being the third man in right now. Aaron Williams would need to have an amazing preseason to dislodge one of those guys from the top spot and Reggie Corner is primarily a slot guy, but those are the top 5. Williams got off to a great start, but with more installation he’s fallen behind a bit on the execution end.
2 –What should be the expectation for Marcus Easley this season? He will be raw and coming off injury coming into the season but he looks like a future number 1 receiver with both size and speed. Given that he has missed a year and didn’t break out until his senior year, how much will he be on the field. Is he likely going to be inactive on game days or can he challenge for the 3-4 receiver role. Excited to watch him in camp. Thanks for the great reporting year round.

CB: Thanks for the kind words. I think it’s tough to peg right now. There’s no question he’s got talent and if he develops he could have a bright future. I’m not ready to go as far as to say number one receiver talent because we just haven’t seen enough of him. Unfortunately I think the coaching staff is in the same boat. They saw flashes last spring, but not much else because of his knee injury last year and now his hyperextended knee. He should be back in the next day or two and hopefully he can stay healthy to get his career off the ground.
 3 –Chris, 

Given the need for both OLB and ILB’s, how many total do you expect to make the opening day roster? It looks like Merriman, Kelsay, Barnett, and Davis will be the starters. With backups like Moats, Shep, Torbor. But what about the fringe players like Coleman, White, Maybin and Batten. Will they carry this many? Is there one guy on the outside? How will Chan mix in a large number of players to fit both the 3-4/4-3 hybrid? 
CB: For a 3-4 defense teams usually carry 8 linebackers with backups for each spot. You’re guess is pretty well on with Merriman, Kelsay, Barnett, Davis and Moats, Shep and Torbor. Guys like Coleman, White, Batten and Maybin will be fighting for one, possibly two spots if they choose to keep 9.
 4 – Dear Chris,
Thanks for all the constant updates for us fans.  I am wondering if the bills are interested in Jared Gaither.  He would be a big help to our tackle problems.  If not him are there any other free agent tackles worth looking at? Thanks again and go BILLSMike from Cheektowaga
CB: This is a name that’s come up an awful lot from fans over the past calendar year. I don’t debate that adding more talent at offensive tackle would be welcomed I’m just not convinced it’s going to happen before the season. Jared Gaither is a guy that was available for trade and no one went after him because he had some back issues. Back issues with linemen are nothing to sneeze at. It may explain why the market has been lukewarm for him. Only the Raiders were poised to sign him and it fell apart in the 11th hour. He’s talented, but Gailey and Nix want high character guys that have a passion for the game, and in NFL circles I don’t know how many people stamp Gaither as that kind of player.
 5 – Did the Bills make an attempt for Zach Miller? He would have been a great addition. A dominant TE is something the Bills have lacked for years. Any chance they go after Kevin Boss?
Josh T.
CB: To my knowledge they did not pursue him. Miller is definitely a talent, no question and yes, the Bills have not had a dominant pass catching tight end. Boss by the way signed with the Raiders today. I just think with Chan Gailey’s frequency of using 4-wide sets and the depth of the receiving corps right now the need for a mismatch type threat at tight end is greatly reduced.
I will say that Scott Chandler, who was picked up off waivers last year from Dallas, had a very good afternoon practice today. A couple of touchdowns and for a 6’7″ 272-pounder he runs well and gets good separation. An impressive showing for him for just his second day of work since re-signing as a restricted free agent.
6 – Hey Chris,
I was wondering a couple things.  What’s the status on the Bills contract with St. John Fisher?  Are they going to stay there or are they leaving?  The practice field situation definitely makes it tougher.  Also, every year the team has ALWAYS done 2 or 3 full team autograph sessions before practice.  They are usually announced before a night practice session and it’s a way for the fans to get whoever they wanted, including some of the players that are impossible to get.  I was wondering if they are going to do that this year?  And if not, why?  That’s a very popular thing and it draws lots of fans to camp for those night practices.  Plus it’s also a way to give back.  Thanks for the reply.

CB: I do know the Bills contract with St. John Fisher is in its last year, but the decisions that are made beyond that are way above my pay grade. I, like you, do not know what the future holds with respect to training camp here. As for giving back to the fans I do know that the next night practice on Saturday (8/6) will include a bunch of contests and giveaways as well as a fireworks show following practice. With respect to a full team autograph session I have not heard anything, but if there is news on that front I’ll pass it along.

7 – Chris,

 I know that Buddy has said in the past that he wants to build this team through the draft. But with the biggest free agency in years why weren’t we more aggressive in free agency? 
Joe from Webster
Season ticket holder (section 130)

CB: Joe, I think we’ve heard Buddy address this question before. The Bills plan for building this team into a consistent winner will be done primarily through the draft and any remaining holes will be filled by free agents that aren’t going to break the bank. Yes, they have a lot of cap room, but the amount of cap room the team has isn’t going to change Buddy’s approach.

I know a lot of fans complain to me all the time about why we’re not more aggressive in free agency. What you need to realize is there are teams in the league that have been very successful with the formula that Buddy is adhering to. Indy, Pittsburgh and San Diego draft well, re-sign their own and fill holes with affordable free agents. Two of those teams have won Super Bowls and all three are perennial playoff teams. It’s a proven way to build a perennial winner, the catch is that it takes time and Buddy said as much when he took the job.

8 – Chris,
How has Aaron Maybin looked in training camp thus far?  I read something saying that he weighed in under 230.  I also read something saying that Daryl Talley was giving him a lot of individual attention and answering his questions.  Is Maybin big enough to be seriously considered as an OLB?  Has Talley’s tutoring helped him make any plays in camp?  Based on some of the comments Gailey has made about Maybin in the past, and the fact that he wasn’t allowed to dress for so many games last year, I have to assume that Maybin needs to show something during the preseason this year if he hopes to stay on the team.  I really had high hopes for him when he got drafted.  Does he seem to be making any progress? 
-Brendan, Las Vegas

CB: Well Brendan you’re right about Maybin’s weight. His reporting weight at the start of camp was 228 pounds. It does make it harder for him to stand in and hold his ground on run plays or maintain leverage on an outside rush. As for what he needs to show in this camp I’ll leave it to coach Gailey who addressed that subject today after practice.

“Aaron (Maybin) tries hard every time he walks on the field,” said Gailey. “The key for him is being productive on the field. He has to become a consistent player against the run and a consistent pass rusher. He has work to do, he’s not there yet. So we will see how he continues to develop but he has a long way to go.”

9 – I’ve noticed that their appears to be an amazing family atmosphere among the players and coaches of the Bills. Guys really appear to want to work hard for the guy next to them and not necessarily for the big pay day that could ensue. What would you say the impetus behind that has been?
Josh D.

CB: I’d give coach Gailey the credit for that. I said last year that his toughest task in his first year as head coach was to eradicate the losing culture that had enveloped this team over the past decade. It took him more than half the season, but he vanquished it and got the players to rally around each other and pull for one another.

There’s a sign in the Bills team meeting room that coach Gailey put up on the front wall it reads, ‘The STAR of the team is the TEAM.’ Hopefully that explains the approach Gailey has demanded from these players.

10 – Chris – Greetings from Arizona – we survived the wildfires and looking forward to Bills football!!.

Offense is looking good. What do you think of the offensive line ( I am mostly concerned about left tackle) and any chance the Bills make a run at a TE (Bo Scaife was still there this morning).

Larry Kordosky, Hereford, AZ

CB: Glad you folks out west are alright. I think there are some real concerns about the offensive line particularly with respect to pass protection outside the organization on the part of fans and it’s hard to blame you. The line still has an awful lot to prove. I think Demetrius Bell and Erik Pears are certainly capable, but we’ll know a lot more about what they can do as a group when we get to the preseason games especially with some pass rushing talents like Julius Peppers and Elvis Dumervil in the first two preseason contests.

Update – Bo Scaife signed today with Cincinnati.

11 –Chris,

Do you expect the organization will renegotiate contracts with Fitz, Stevie, and any of the other guys before the season or do you think they will wait and sign them to deals with terms that begin next year?

CB: I do expect a new contract for Stevie for sure. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a bit more tricky a situation. I can’t predict a timetable for when either of them might re-sign. No one can predict how negotiations will unfold, but it’s clear that Johnson can be a premier weapon in the passing game for several years. With Fitz it’s not that easy. Fitz is the starter this year, no ifs, ands or buts. Beyond that it’s hard to know what the Bills are thinking. And so I believe they could take more of a wait and see approach with him. If Fitz is lighting it up in the first half of the season I believe it helps his cause.

12 – Chris,

Along with many of your fans…I really appreciate your insight on what’s happening with the Bills.  I’ve been a Bills fan for 40 years.  I like what Buddy and Chan are trying to do by building the Bills using the draft.   Having said that though, with all the cap room we have…is there still a possibility for a Tackle or Tight End pick up…with all the weapons at Fitz’s disposal…it would be great to see him have that ½ second more he needs to make this team productive. 

Thanks for your thoughtful reporting!  

Now living in South Florida Sunshine…but still a Buffalo Bills fan.

CB: As I mentioned earlier I don’t see the cap room changing the front office approach as to how they’re going to build this roster into a perennial playoff contender. I respect your point about better protection for Fitz. I just think if there was an offensive tackle they wanted bad enough they would’ve signed him. They did pursue Tyson Clabo, but Clabo really wanted to stay in Atlanta. And mismatch tight end as I said just isn’t a priority in Gailey’s style of offense.

13 – Chris,

Thanks for asking our questions, and for all of the work you do. I’ve been curious about the Brad Smith signing. Chan has made comparisons to Kordell and Brad Smith said he signed with Buffalo because he liked what The Bills had in mind for him. Is it possible that Gailey’s plan might be to have Smith be a possible QB in the future? Might we expect to see he and Thigpen battle for Fitzpatrick’s replacement maybe 2 years down the road?
Love the signing from a Special Teams, Wildcat, and Reciever prespective  but is there more to this?
Thanks Again,
CB: It’s tough to say whether there is more to this, but I think the long term commitments made by the Bills to both Thigpen (3 yrs) and Smith (4 yrs) could lead one to speculate that they’ve thought about the position beyond just 2011. What their plans are long term is anyone’s guess, but I believe your theory is not outlandish at all.
Thigpen looked very, very good today. His standing on the roster this year will be no higher than the #2 QB, Chan told him that when he called him as a free agent. Fitz is the starter this year and that’s final. I’ll have more on this in my Practice Notes write up tonight.
14 –  How do the late round picks and UDFA’s have any chance of really having a shot at making the roster, especially an offensive player ?  Because they don’t have the benefit of knowing the playbook at all.

Thanks, Tim H
Spencer, NY
CB: This might be the toughest year in football for an undrafted rookie to make a 53-man roster coming out of camp, and you’re right it’s due completely to the lack of OTAs and minicamps in the offseason. They came in cold when camp began and had to pick things up on the fly. Even coach Gailey admitted that veteran players are more entrenched in their roles than in perhaps any other preseason because the coaches are secure in their knowledge of what those players can and cannot do.
With the rookie free agents there isn’t enough of a base of knowledge on any of them because they didn’t see them through the spring. This creates more guess work with respect to the evaluations of those players on the part of coaches and coaches don’t want to guess, they want to know. So unless someone really, really shines, it’s going to be very, very tough for rookie free agents to make the squad. We’ll see.
15 – What do you think will become of Levi Brown with all of these new quarterbacks here? Do you think he will go back to be number 3, or do you think he has earned the number 2 position? I’m guess with Thigpens’ experience  he’ll go back to being 3. I personally would like to see him get a chance to play at some point.

Thanks Chris, Bills reporting is 2nd to none compared to all other football teams, (which I really need now that I moved to Atlanta) keep up the great work!
CB: Appreciate the compliments. With respect to Levi Brown, I think he’s in a bit of a tough spot. Like we mentioned long term commitments were made to both Thigpen and Smith and I get the feeling that coach Gailey likes having a 3rd quarterback that’s multi-dimensional that he can use on game day for more than holding a clipboard. Levi might be caught in a numbers game here, but there is one other option for the Bills with him and that’s the practice squad. We’ll see how he performs in the preseason.
Joseph DeLallo
16 – Chris,

Though I am sure someone else will probably ask…how is Michael Jasper fairing at DT?
Geoff from Hungary
CB: Wow wasn’t expecting a question from that part of the world. Jasper is currently running with the third team defense at nose tackle. He’s got uncommon athleticism for a 385-pound man. In 1-on-1 drills he’s won more battles than he’s lost as he effectively walks interior linemen back into the pocket. That being said he is a very raw talent. He has a lot of technique work to brush up on having not played defensive line for more than two years.
The true test of what he’s capable of will come in the preseason, but he’s an interesting prospect to watch no question. I’m just amazed at how a man that big can be proportioned as well as he is.

17 – Hi Chris:

How is Demetrius Bell looking so far in camp?  Also, should one of the offensive tackles go down, is there any indication at this early stage as to who may be the swing tackle?

Rick Shields

I would like to know who the ‘1’s are currently in practice. I know the depth chart is a fluid thing but reports are that the starting DL at least once was Dareus, Troup and Williams.  Would like to know if that was true?

Steve in Corning

CB: The defensive starters in the team’s base defense are as follows.

DL – Dareus, Williams, Edwards
LBs – Kelsay, Davis, Barnett, Merriman
DBs – McGee, Wilson, Byrd, Florence

Now there are several different subpackages where the personnel groupings are very different and the Bills run a lot of these during the practices, particularly nickel lineups with the offense going 3 wide so often. So that is where some of the misinformation is coming from. Even I made a mistake last week when I thought rookie Da’Norris Searcy was running with the second team defense for a few reps here and there. Actually he’s running with the second team nickel package. I’ll try to come up with an easy way to view the lineups. Maybe I’ll put that together tomorrow here on the blog.

Well folks, that’s all the time I’ve got. I’ve got to still put the Practice Notes together for tonight. Some good performances turned in by Chandler, Donald Jones, Terrence McGee and others. I’ll have it all to you in about an hour. Thanks for participating and hope to do it again real soon.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Ravens want to keep Gaither

Posted by Chris Brown on February 1, 2011 – 7:18 am

Last offseason there were more than rumblings that the Baltimore Ravens wanted to move OT Jared Gaither via trade, but his back injury compromised those efforts. Now a year later they want to try and re-sign him.

That according to the, which also reports that Gaither’s back problems are behind him. Part of what has kept a re-signing from happening to this point is the lack of a new CBA, which has kept players from being designated as restricted or unrestricted free agent based on their years of service in the league.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Gaither called a “drama king”

Posted by Chris Brown on June 15, 2010 – 9:08 am

A lot of Bills fans desperate for finding a long term answer to the team’s left tackle position have pointed to Ravens young OT Jared Gaither, who has reportedly been on the trading block. Shedding some light on just what kind of player an NFL club would be getting in Gaither is Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston.

Preston labels Gaither a “drama king” as he lists how the 24-year old tackle blessed with talent and promise, doesn’t maximize that ability on the field and appears to lack the same work ethic as his teammates. That’s why no team is offering the Ravens anything substantial to acquire him.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-11

Posted by Chris Brown on June 11, 2010 – 11:56 am

OTAs are more than half over then a mandatory minicamp and it’s break time before training camp. Remember questions can be emailed to Now to your questions.

1 – Hi Chris,

I have a question about injured reserve. Players like Demetrius Bell and Eric Wood finished the year on the IR.

Are they technically still on IR? Can they stay on IR and NOT count against the 80 man roster until they are “activated” (or do IR exemptions only apply to the 53 man roster?) Do players on IR have to be activated by July 29th / start of training camp?

Tim N.

CB: After the Super Bowl is over there is a period of time in February where players are removed from the injured reserve list. At this point in time, provided they are still under contract with the club they count toward the team’s 80-man offseason roster limit. Leaving them on injured reserve is not an option.

If however, they are unable to pass a physical prior to the start of training camp they would be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list at which point they would count as a player on the roster unless they were designated as Reserve-PUP like James Hardy was last summer.

2 – Hi Chris, How do you see the 3-4 defense faring during the season? Do you think that Chris Kelsay and Aaron Schobel will make the most of their new roles as outside linebackers? Turning to offense: How do you see the Bills offense performing during the season barring injury? The addition of C. J. Spiller and Marcus Easley helps, but will it be enough? I will look forward to your answer.
Tony, Daytona Beach, Florida

CB: Well at this point it’s hard to determine what Chris Kelsay is capable of at his new position. I think we’ll get a better handle on that at training camp. Aaron Schobel is a big ‘if’ because he’s leaning toward retirement. That means players like Aaron Maybin, Chris Ellis, Reggie Torbor and Danny Batten will be the other candidates.

I like the way Batten has moved in space. He’s better than I thought he’d be at this point knowing he too is switching from a defensive end position. Ellis has some potential and Torbor is a veteran. Maybin I envision playing a big role on passing downs.

With respect to the offense I think Chan Gailey is going to need to be very creative to get chunk yardage plays this year. I believe we’ll see a heavy emphasis on running the ball because to this point no quarterback has definitively demonstrated that they deserve the starting job.

I believe Spiller and Easley will both contribute as rookies, Spiller more so right away, but Easley has been impressive in spring camps. We’ll see if that continues when the pads go on in late July.

3 – Hey Chris,

  I’m confused about why the Bills don’t make more of an effort to get Gaither from the Ravens to put at LT and then sign Flozell Adams and have him play RT. I really think that would be a wise choice, because then we could see what our QB’s on the current roster really have to offer. So what if it is for 1yr at least next yr we would know what direction to go in the draft. If the guys on the current roster couldn’t produce with a that front unit then we would know we need to get new QB’s. But if they perform well then we would know we need to build up the line more in next yrs draft.

Garrett from PA.

CB: First of all no one really knows what kind of effort has been put together by the Bills to land a veteran left tackle via trade. Gaither has been the subject of trade talks according to reports and many suspect the Bills. Gaither however, has a history of not being the most dedicated player. It’s unclear if that is enough of a red flag to dissuade the Bills from pursuing him.
I understand your point of improving the tackles to gain a better assessment of the quarterbacks. It’s a valid argument. I just get the feeling that the Bills intend to build this thing steadily and not fill holes with quick fixes that may or may not work.

4 – I have noticed that Marcus McNeill has not signed his RFA tender yet.  I have not seen any news out of SD with regard to this, is he not happy?  I was wondering if it is worth Buffalo giving up a 1st and a 3rd next year for someone who is a ProBowl caliber OT who could fill the position for years to come with out the potential baggage that Baltimore’s Gauthier seems to have with work ethic and feet.  What are your thoughts?
James Bancroft

CB: As I blogged earlier this week McNeill and the Chargers are at a bit of standoff. McNeill believes his Pro Bowl resume makes him deserving of a long term contract. The problem is San Diego already has a handful of high-priced players and seemed to be inclined to bide their time in giving McNeill an extension, hoping he would sign his one-year restricted tender so they could buy another year before handing out the big money, especially with some labor uncertainty.

The Chargers have reportedly threatened to reduce his tender amount on June 15th, something they’re permitted to do under league rules by 110%. So his salary for 2010 would go from $2.4M to $583K. But word is McNeill is willing to hold out to get what he feels he deserves. San Diego has signed veteran tackle Tra Thomas in case McNeill stands firm in his position.

Whether they would trade a young, talented player I believe would depend on how contentious this stand off gets. The Bills could use a proven left tackle and not only is McNeill familiar with Buddy Nix from his time with the Chargers, but there are two former college teammates on the Bills roster in Spencer Johnson and Reggie Torbor. It’s a situation that bears watching no doubt.

5 – Chris,
Aaron Maybin appears to have the right work ethic to be successful with the Bills. I think he was a victim of coaches last year, that never gave him a chance. How do you see Maybin being utilize in the 3-4 defense and will he live up to his potential as 1st round pick?
William, Schenectady, NY
CB: Maybin himself has said he has some adjustments to make in the Bills new 3-4 scheme. His responsibilities are different and more varied in this system. I think it’s safe to expect him to have a more prominent role in terms of the pass rush. He’ll definitely be on the field on any passing downs, but this staff may choose to play stouter ends on run downs. It’s something that we’ll have to keep an eye on through the preseason games.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gaither signs tender

Posted by Chris Brown on June 8, 2010 – 5:37 am

Ravens OT Jared Gaither has been the subject of trade rumors for a while this offseason as he was reluctant to sign his restricted free agent tender. That has now changed.

According to ProFootballTalk, Gaither signed his restricted free agent tender. Gaither wanted to avoid giving Baltimore the option of reducing his tender by 110%, which NFL clubs have as an option if an RFA doesn’t sign by June 15th.

His signing doesn’t really change the possibility of him being traded.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Gaither not at Ravens practice

Posted by Chris Brown on May 8, 2010 – 12:27 pm

Ravens OT Jared Gaither was not in attendance at Ravens minicamp practice Saturday morning.

The team claims he was in the training room, but the Baltimore Sun is reporting that Gaither had no known injuries that he was dealing with and practiced fully on Friday.

UPDATE: I’m hearing that Gaither’s foot might be sore and that’s what he was getting treatment on in the Ravens training room.

There’s been widespread speculation that Gaither will be moved to another team soon via trade. Buffalo is one of the team’s reportedly interested in the 24-year old left tackle.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Gaither no longer at left tackle

Posted by Chris Brown on May 7, 2010 – 12:42 pm

The Baltimore Ravens have their first minicamp this week and Jared Gaither is no longer playing left tackle.

Gaither has switched positions with Michael Oher. Gaither is now at right tackle with Oher now at left per the Ravens official team site twitter account.

1 Winning Drive For starters, Oher at LT and Gaither at RT. Cousins is 2nd team LT.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Bills want Gaither

Posted by Chris Brown on May 7, 2010 – 12:00 pm

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Buffalo Bills are interested in Baltimore Ravens OT Jared Gaither.

In one of his more recent twitter posts, he mentions that Gaither should be moved soon and that the Bills would like to add him to their roster.

Adam_Schefter    NFL sources still expect Ravens OT Jared Gaither to be traded before season and Bills are most likely destination – they want him.

Gaither (6’9″ 340) was tendered at the first round level by the Ravens as a restricted free agent, but it has been reported that the Ravens would be willing to accept less than that as compensation for the 24-year old. Gaither already has three NFL seasons under his belt after he was a 5th round supplemental draft choice of Baltimore in 2007.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-30

Posted by Chris Brown on April 30, 2010 – 12:34 pm

Well the 2010 draft is in the rearview mirror and the Bills really got some good talent for their D-line in Troup and Carrington. I like those guys a lot. Spiller is a difference maker. Be nice to strike a little fear in opponents. Some good depth players too.
In any event let’s see what’s on your mind on the heels of the draft. ( for questions).

1 – Hey Chris,
Do you think buffalo bills send their 2nd rd pick (2011) to baltimore for gaither after not getting a premier NFL ready LT in the draft?? He’s young some experience 2nd yr.

CB: There’s no debating that Gaither is talented and young. Here’s what I think happens with the Bills and their left tackle situation. I believe Buffalo’s talent evaluators will assess the talent on hand and see how they perform on the field through minicamps and OTAs this spring. If they feel they need to upgrade I believe they will. Currently there are two tackles with experience that I see worthy of pursuing.

One is Gaither and the other is New Orleans’ Jammal Brown. Granted Brown is coming off an injury, but provided he checks out, I would look at both of them as options. A second or possibly a third rounder in 2011 could get it done.

2 – With the addition of Chad Jackson what do you see happening with Roscoe Parrish? I mean Chad is a return man with a lot of speed and a lot of the same qualities Parrish has. I know its been talked about before, but with the Bills having Evans, Hardy, Steve Johnson, and now Chad Jackson do you see the Bills trading Parrish and maybe get a draft pick out of him?

-Long Island-

CB: I don’t see Parrish being moved. I think he finally has an offensive coordinator (Gailey) that will come up with a way to maximize his talents at the receiver position on offense. I anticipate him getting a lot more snaps in the slot, especially with Josh Reed gone. They’ll use him in motion a lot too. Think about Parrish and Spiller in the two slots in a four wide look. Man I like the sound of that. Chad Jackson in my opinion is nowhere near the return man that Roscoe is. Roscoe’s biggest competition is going to be Spiller in the return game.

3 – I see Dallas released there left tackle Flozell Adams. Is he worth pursuing by the Bills?

Jeff Johnson

CB: For some reason I just don’t see the Bills pursuing a player that at best is a one-year stop gap. I could be wrong, but I think Buffalo is building this team in such a way where they’re looking for long term answers especially at a position like left tackle.

4 – Hey Chris,
Thanks for all your great coverage of the draft. I’m sure you’ll be getting plenty of questions about the O-line, but that obviously seems to be the biggest concern for us fans as of right now. I am assuming that left guard through right tackle is pretty much set at Levitre, Hangartner, Wood and Green. My question is do you think Bell goes in as the starting left tackle right now? I know Nix said he has to be, but he didn’t seem completely convinced. Do you think Wang or Jamon Meredith (who I thought was decent last year) have any chance of displacing Bell?

CB: Personally I think it will be an open competition. We’ll get a better sense of just how healthy Bell is coming off the knee injury when OTAs start up. It’s his job to lose because he’s the incumbent, but I do think Meredith will give him a good run. Andre Ramsey is also in that mix and Wang is a dark horse, who I think will need some development in the end. As I said earlier based on coaching and front office evaluations a play for a Gaither or Jammal Brown I do not think is out of the question yet.

Another possible option that’s out there is Levitre possibly kicking out to tackle, but with so many other young options right now, I anticipate the staff will sift through those first.

5 – Chris,
With Chan saying he likes big receivers on the edges – might we see Evans spend some time in the slot?  I could see that causing some serious matchup problems for a defense.
CB: With Chan Gailey I would rule nothing out. Buffalo has added some receivers with size, both in the draft and free agency. Too often we’ve seen Lee Evans facing bracket coverage and taken away as a weapon. I believe Gailey, knowing the playmaker that Evans is would do whatever he can to put him in a playmaking position. It could just mean moving him around more, or it could very well mean more time in the slot. We shall see.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Bills called about Gaither

Posted by Chris Brown on April 26, 2010 – 9:43 am

According to, the Bills were one of two teams that called to inquire about Ravens restricted free agent OT Jared Gaither.

Gaither was reportedly on the trade block, and though tendered at a first-round level by Baltimore was said to be available for less compensation than that. Per the report the Cowboys were the other team that was ringing Ozzie Newsome’s phone to ask about Gaither.

It’s possible that Gaither could still be moved at some point this offseason, especially if they don’t intend to keep him beyond the one-year tender offer they issued him.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-16

Posted by Chris Brown on April 16, 2010 – 1:30 pm

Less than a week to go until the draft. Let the rumors fly.  As a reminder next week Fan Friday will take a hiatus as we will be providing frequent Inside the Bills blog updates during rounds two and three of the NFL draft. Fan Friday will return on April 30.
Here are your questions this week. (

1 – Chris,
Because our OL was not all that great last year, what is your opinion on the following draft scenario:
1st     Brian Bulaga or Trent Williams OT
2nd    Cam Thomas NT
3rd    Jon Asamoah OG could be used as OT
4th    Anthony Dixon RB
5th   John Skelton QB
6th  Linval Joseph NT
7th  Seyi Ajirotutu WR
I think this really addresses our needs, and solidifies out OL and DL especially with the new 3-4 D.
I know a lot people would not like this, but we have to get strong up front before anything !!!

CB: You’re preaching to the choir on fortifying the lines first. I’d be ecstatic if those first two picks come to fruition. Asamoah might not be there in the third and East Carolina’s Linval Joseph definitely will not be there in the fifth round. In fact he might come off the board before Thomas in round two. That guy is a beast. Positionally I think you’re on the money for the most part, although Chan Gailey made it clear he’s seeking a third down change of pace back that has more elusiveness to his game than Dixon, who moves the pile.

2 – Chris,
Do you think Cody out of Alabama would be a good nose tackle? I think we might be able to get him in the 2nd round.

Can’t wait for the draft. Tired of seeing everybody and their mom’s mock draft that keep coming out everyday.


CB: I think Cody will be a very effective run stuffer in the NFL. How can he not be? The man is enormous. That however, could also be a problem. He had issues with his endurance in college. In a lot of games he rarely played more than 35 snaps. He was a two down player in college and figures to be that in the NFL where the speed of the game is likely to get him winded even quicker.

Knowing he’s a two down player only I’m not sure every NFL team would be willing to invest a second-round pick in him, but I’m sure there are two or three teams willing to do that. Whether the Bills are one of them remains to be seen.

3 – Hey Chris,
What do you think are our chances of getting Jared Gaither from Baltimore? Heard they lowered their  choices to an early 2 rd pick.

There are rumors that it would take less than the first-round tender he was offered. What worries me are the reported work ethic issues with Gaither. It might just be a case of a guy that doesn’t get it yet being that he’s still so young and takes his talent for granted. But the Bills have some quality work ethic players on their front line right now. If they believe Gaither could disrupt that chemistry they might not look to acquire him at all.

Knowing the Bills have probably done their due diligence on Gaither in terms of character and work ethic, if he fits the bill and Buffalo doesn’t have the chance to take one of the top three offensive tackles at ninth overall (Bulaga, Okung, Williams), then I think making a move for Gaither becomes a greater possibility.

4 – Hey Chris,
Do you think if Bulaga is off the board that the Bills take Dez Bryant rather than take their chances with Anthony Davis or Trent Williams? At least Dez Bryant is the safe pick to pair up with Lee Evans and then just grab an OT at 41 or trade up. Also do you think Dexter McCluster will be on the board when the bills pick in round 3?

CB: If Bulaga is off the board and Trent Williams is still there I think they leap on him. Personally I think the Bills would be happy with any one of the top three tackles (Okung, Williams, Bulaga). I do not think they would take Anthony Davis at nine due to the fact that he’s 20-years old and a little immature. Dez Bryant is not the way they’re going to go. It would be similar to adding Terrell Owens last year. You haven’t fixed the line so no QB will have time to throw to any of those guys.
I’m not sure McCluster will still be there in round three. Could go late second round.

5 – Hey Chris,
I have a some questions for you concerning the Bills defense.
Do the Bills and their new coaching staff see playing Byrd at free safety and Whitner at strong safety a possibility? What position is Bryan Scott going to play this year? Is he going to be strong safety or linebacker? If the Bills were able to go to a Byrd/Whitner combo at both safety positions do you think we could see a trade with George Wilson or Bryan Scott involved?  Thanks for your time.  Go Bills!
Knoxville, TN

CB: Head coach Chan Gailey has defended Donte Whitner this offseason after he was the subject of trade rumors. He has been quoted as saying that Whitner is the starting strong safety and I believe free safety is Byrd’s job to lose. Bryan Scott will compete with Whitner. Linebacker is off the table for him. George Wilson will also compete at strong and free safety.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

No contact with Ravens on Gaither

Posted by Chris Brown on April 13, 2010 – 12:55 pm

Baltimore Ravens OT Jared Gaither is reportedly on the trading block, but GM Ozzie Newsome said not much is going on concerning the young left tackle.

Newsome told that he has had no dialogue with any NFL club about a trade involving Gaither, or any other player for that matter.

The team website first reported it on their twitter account.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-9

Posted by Chris Brown on April 9, 2010 – 12:25 pm

The draft is closing in so let’s answer those questions this week. Here we go. (Remember send questions to

1 – Hey chris
I was looking at some mock drafts and some people seem to be predicting a possible run on OT in the top ten. If 3 tackles went before the bills pick do you think the bills would consider trading their first for Jared Gaither from the ravens? He has a 1st round tender on him but he’s only 23 , has experience playing tackle, and he only missed 5 games out of the 33 he played in ( which is preety good considering how often our offensive lineman are hurt). I wondered what your opinion on Terrence Cody in the second round. He seems to be working on his weight and I think would be a good value in the second. Keep up the good work man thanks.
Lockport , NY

CB: With respect to Gaither, I’m concerned about the work ethic issues I’m hearing with him. The Ravens are not the kind of team that puts a 23-year old tackle with Pro Bowl potential on the market for no reason. They claim their trade talk was to light a fire under him. I’m thinking they’re tired of trying to motivate him and with Michael Oher on the roster they have a replacement for him for left tackle.
We saw what an unmotivated Jason Peters did for the Bills, so I would not part with the ninth pick for him, even if there was a run on tackles. In fact I don’t know that I’d use the 41st pick either. Yes, he’s talented, but if you’ve got a talented player with a poor work ethic or lacking in motivation you’re going to have problems. Why inherit Baltimore’s?

As for Terrence Cody, there’s no debating he’s a run stuffer, but his weight issues are not just going to disappear. It’s going to be a constant struggle. It’s clear to me that it affects his endurance in games. There were times that Nick Saban had him on the field for only 25 plays. I think he’s going to be just a two down player in the NFL and I don’t know if you take a guy that’s only going to give you two downs a series in the first or second round.

2 – Chris,
You really got me thinking ever since you blogged about the Bills’ site visit with C.J. Spiller.  I know you mentioned they could just be doing their due diligence in scouting but for some reason I feel there might be more to it.
Now that Spiller’s pro day is over, and he apparently impressed those who attended, how does this affect his draft stock with the Bills?  The reason I ask is because of the old “best player available” logic when drafting.
There is a chance, in my opinion, that Spiller just might just be the “best available player” on the board at pick 9.  This kind of scares me but also intrigues my interest a bit too. Scares me because the Bills have other pressing needs to be addressed but intrigues me because Jackson and Spiller can/would be a dynamic RB tandem.
If nothing else it will be interesting to see who goes before pick 9, but I wouldn’t put it past the Bills to take a flyer on this Spiller kid. It’s really hard to pass up talent and play-makers if your not sold on other guys available at that spot.
Any similar thoughts from you or am I wasting my efforts?
Thanks for your time.

CB: Spiller is a difficult talent to pass on, no question, and teams that passed on Adrian Peterson a few years back because they felt they were set at RB already are still smarting from their decisions. Buffalo’s needs are many, but if the top three tackles are off the board (Okung, Williams, Bulaga) and Clausen is gone, I could see Spiller as a distinct possibility. If the above scenario unfolded I think Buffalo would take Spiller or the best pass rusher on the board, which could be Derrick Morgan.

3 – Hi Chris,
Do you foresee Buffalo moving up in the second round to draft a QB?  Suppose we traded next year’s second and fourth round picks so that we can get the Detroit lions 33rd pick to draft QB Tim Tebow?  I do not know if Tim Tebow would still be on the board when it comes to Buffalo’s pick at 42.

CB: I think if you’re a team that wants to ensure you get Tim Tebow you better trade into the bottom of the first round. There are too many teams at the top of round two that could take a shot at him, so I would expect a team that coveted him to move into the bottom of the first. Quarterbacks values always get overinflated on draft day because of the position’s importance. So I think you’d have to be somewhere in the mid-20’s to have a shot at him come draft day.

With Buffalo’s situation I would not make such a move. There are too many positional holes to fill to take a player late in round one or early in round two that is not going to be a starting player for you as a rookie. The Bills need players they draft that high on the field in year one. Tebow will need time on the job to develop his game.

4 – Hey Chris,
Seems like the newly signed Andra Davis will be competing with Mitchell for an inside backer spot. I’d hate to see either of those guys on the bench. Any chance one of those inside backers gets moved to outside? I think a lineup of Davis, Mitchell, Poz, Maybin could be pretty fierce…
Eric from Alaska

CB: I think there’s a chance that defensive coordinator George Edwards will want a linebacker that’s very familiar with the 3-4 scheme in the middle of that defense and that to me gives Andra Davis the edge to start next to Paul Posluszny. That means that Kawika Mitchell is likely the strong side linebacker on the outside opposite Maybin, which to me isn’t a bad thing. Mitchell is a good blitzer and certainly strong enough to grind with the tight end. I think he could be a good fit there.

5 – Hi Chris,
Do you think the bills will trade back at all in the draft?  Do you think trading back with San Fran to 13 or 17 is realistic to pick up some extra picks especially if the LTs are off the board by 9?  If we’re going to build through the draft i think trading back would be a good move to add an earlier pick to the mix. 
                                   Thanks – Showtime.

CB: Trading back is always a possibility because what a team might be expecting to see available when they’re on the clock could be gone. Typically the Bills have up to three players in mind that they feel are worthy of their top selection and fit their team’s needs the best. Picking as high as nine it’s unlikely that all three of the choices they come up with will be off the board, but if they are then there is a good chance they move back if there is a taker.

With nine picks the Bills have the ability to move up and down the board a bit.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Why OT Gaither was being offered up

Posted by Chris Brown on April 6, 2010 – 8:36 am

Baltimore Ravens OT Jared Gaither was tendered at the first-round level, but was reportedly being offered in a trade for less than that. Why a team would trade a 23-year old blind side protector with a lot of talent didn’t make sense… until the truth came out.

The Ravens apparently used the trade talk as a ploy to get him to report to offseason camp. That according to the Baltimore Sun. While they reportedly will entertain an offer if it is legitimate and provides proper compensation (1st round pick, or 2nd and a 2011 conditional) they achieved what they initially wanted to do, which was get Gaither’s backfield in motion.

At Maryland the knock on Gaither was that he did not have a strong work ethic and that has apparently revealed itself to the Ravens, who do not want loafers on their team no matter how talented. Can’t blame them for that approach at all, especially for a position as important as left tackle.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-2

Posted by Chris Brown on April 2, 2010 – 1:30 pm

More player moves this week as the Bills now have six receivers on their roster and Ashton Youboty just re-signed. Let’s see what you’ve got for us this week in the way of questions for Fan Friday from the inbox (

– Hey chris
I was looking at some mock drafts and some people seem to be predicting a possible run on OT in the top ten. If 3 tackles went before the bills pick do you think the bills would consider trading their first for Jared Gaither from the ravens? He has a 1st round tender on him but hes only 23 , has experience playing tackle, and he only missed 5 games out of the 33 he played in ( which is preety good considering how often our offensive lineman are hurt). I wondered what your opinion on Terrence Cody in the second round. He seems to be working on his weight and I think would be a good value in the second. Keep up the good work man thanks.
Lockport , NY

My biggest concern is the Lions at second overall start the OT run early and four OTs are off the board by the time the Bills are on the clock. But I think as long as one of the top four are there (Okung, Bulaga, Davis, Williams) they’d take one of them.
But having a contingency plan in place couldn’t hurt. From what I’ve been hearing out of Baltimore it might not take a 1st to get Gaither. I think the Bills second-round pick at 41 could get a deal done for him. I just wonder why the Ravens are not hesitating about trying to move him. I know they have Oher, but you don’t see teams jettisoning promising young left tackles.

2 – Chris,
Can Trent Williams play Left Tackle?  Everything I read about him seems to be vague on the matter.
Pete Howell

CB: This is where not having the full story can concern fans about certain players. Trent Williams had played left tackle through high school before coming to Oklahoma, where he started his career at left tackle. With Phil Loadholt in front of him (now with the Vikings) he didn’t flip over to left until this past season, his senior year.

At the start of the season he had a series of minor injuries that hampered his performance, but the guy played anyway. As the season wore on he got healthier and his play really took off. I think he can play left tackle effectively and he has the work ethic and intangibles you want to see from a big guy. You want to know they want to be the best and that’s exactly what he said at the combine.

– Hey Chris,

I was wondering if you would take a shot at Tim Tebow if you were in the head coaching position at pick 9?  Do you see the Bills drafting him at 9, or perhaps in the 2nd round if he happens to be there?  Do you know what Buddy Nix or Chan Gailey’s feelings are towards Tim Tebow?  What do you think they are going to do about the QB position?  Thank you! 

CB: Personally I would not take Tim Tebow at nine if I were picking for the Bills. I would not even take him in round two with pick 41. The reason why is the Bills have so many positional holes and needs that they cannot afford to use a high pick on a player that is not equipped to start right away in the NFL at his given position.

While there is much debate on just how good Tebow can be at the NFL level, no one is debating that it’s going to take him about two to three years to be NFL ready at the QB position. Knowing that, the Bills can’t use a high pick on a guy that’s not going to start right away. They need starters with their first two picks, similar to what they got out of last year’s draft. Wood, Byrd and Levitre were all starters. That’s a big step forward for this roster. They have to do that again this year. They’re not in a position to wait on a guy they draft in the first two rounds.
4 – Chris,

With the Bengals and Ravens seemingly out on Terrell Owens and not a  lot of other teams reportedly interested is there any chance that  Buffalo will bring him back at a small price if he is still available  late in the offseason?

David (Penfield, NY)

CB: I just don’t see it happening. The Bills have made their plans clear in stating Owens will not be offered a contract. They want to turn the page at receiver and see what the young kids have got. Personally I like that approach. How do you how good Hardy and Johnson can be if you don’t give them the opportunity?
5 – Hi Chris:
I’m thinking out of the box a little here. Truth be told, the Bills are probably looking at two more non-playoff seasons. With that in mind, I see a left tackle as the obvious first draft pick next month. It is supposedly a deep draft for offensive linemen. What would you think about a right tackle in the second round if a quality player is available? That would solidify the O-line with four high draft picks and give them a couple years to mature together while the Bills collect the rest of the needed parts.
Pete Johanson
Youngsville PA

CB: I don’t think it’s out of the question, but I would suspect it to happen later in the draft like round three or four. They’ve got a stop gap veteran player in Cornell Green for right tackle, so they’re covered for this year and next. Plus they have young tackle prospects on the roster in Demetrius Bell, Jamon Meredith, Andre Ramsey and Jason Watkins. In round two I think the play is nose tackle.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

A 2nd rounder for Gaither?

Posted by Chris Brown on March 30, 2010 – 5:59 am and the Baltimore Sun are both reporting that restricted free agent OT Jared Gaither could be had for less than the first round level at which he was tendered by the Ravens.

According to multiple reports he’s drawing interest from a handful of teams. Presumably Buffalo’s second round pick at 41 could get something accomplished on that front.

Gaither is widely considered to be a solid left tackle with room to grow having only been in the league for two seasons, which makes it puzzling as to why the Ravens are so dead set on moving him.

I wouldn’t mind having Gaither as a left tackle. The issue for the Bills would be what they sacrifice at 41. If they swap their pick at 41 for Gaither their left tackle problem is solved. At pick nine however they could not get great value for another pressing positional need being defensive tackle as it’s not believed there’s a top 10 quality tackle after Suh and McCoy.

It is possible however, for the Bills to still get a decent nose tackle prospect in the third round provided the run doesn’t start too early, but it’s a risk.

If Jimmy Clausen is still on the board at nine, the Bills could go that way if they feel he is a franchise type player, but it’s unclear as to what Buffalo thinks of him.

That would leave pass rusher at nine and a player like Derrick Morgan, who might not be there.

It’s my contention that teams will weigh what they believe they can get in the draft against what they sacrifice getting by giving up a pick for Gaither and if giving up the pick compromises their total haul in the draft enough, they’ll pass.

For a team however, that has fewer holes than the Bills, Gaither for a two might be an outstanding value.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-26

Posted by Chris Brown on March 26, 2010 – 11:22 am

Less than a month until the draft and we’ve got trade rumors and draft rumors galore floating around out there. I’d say believe about 10 percent of what you read this time of year, especially quotes from team executives. A lot of smoke and mirrors flying around. You can always email me at and you can get a running scroll of my blog entries here. Let’s get to your questions.

1 – Hey Chris,
As much as I see the need for help on the O-Line, especially with Butler’s shocking retirement, what if all the top O-Line prospects are gone before the Bills get to pick?
What if players like Derrick Morgan or Rolando McClain are there at pick 9, who do you select?

CB: That’s a great question. I personally believe that this has the potential to happen if the Lions pick an offensive tackle instead of one of the top two DTs in Suh or McCoy. That would start the run on tackles early and with Washington (#4), KC (#5), Seattle (#6) and Oakland (#8) all in need of tackle help Buffalo could be left holding the bag.

If that scenario were to play out I think pass rusher is the way that they’ll go. Now there is some debate as to whether Derrick Morgan is athletic enough (in reverse) to be a 3-4 outside linebacker. Some talent evaluators around the league are of the opinion that he is not good in drop and cover situations, something required of an OLB in a 3-4.

But if anyone knows what Morgan is and is not capable of it’s Chan Gailey and defensive line coach Giff Smith, who recruited Morgan to Georgia Tech and coached him on a daily basis. McClain would not be a bad pick, but with the free agent signing of Andra Davis, inside LB help isn’t as pressing a positional need.
2 – Hey Chris,
Do you think the potential of a 2011 lockout has any affect on how the team pursues this year’s draft? I think it would be a risk to draft a QB this year if indeed there is lockout. I’m not sure what team activities take place in a lockout year, but I have to believe it would affect the development of a young QB having a year off. 
Thanks, Mark

CB: I think that’s a valid point, but the bigger issue for all of the teams are contract payouts. Knowing this year is likely the last in which draft picks taken in round one will see mega-fat contracts before they even play a down, NFL clubs could be more willing to part with first-round picks knowing first rounders in all likelihood will be much more affordable come 2011. That could mean more trades.
3 – Chris,
I keep hearing people talk about how Kyle Williams doesn’t really fit into the 3-4 system.  I don’t see why he wouldn’t work out as a defensive end.  I realize he’s probably a little bulkier and not quite as fast as a prototypical 3-4 DE, but he made a lot of plays this season when the coaches gave him the freedom to try to penetrate the line instead of hold his ground.  I think that if we can sign a veteran NT or draft a Dan Williams or Mount Cody and put Marcus Stroud and Kyle Williams on the ends, that would be a pretty intimidating front line to run against.  And then our pass rush would come from the outside LB’s.  Your thoughts are always appreciated.
-Brendan, Las Vegas

CB: Truthfully I don’t think it matters where they put Kyle Williams, he’ll make plays. He’s more athletic than he is given credit for and I think he could handle the five technique position. In all likelihood he’s the nose tackle in obvious passing situations and might see some work at end as well. You don’t take good players off the field. You find a way to make them fit and that’s exactly what defensive coordinator George Edwards intends to do.
4 – Hey Chris,
I was just wondering… with free agency here, what are the chances that Buffalo would trade for Jared Gaither to fill one of the two slots for offensive tackle. Would he be a good fit for the Bills offensive line? Considering the Ravens only tendered him for a 1st round compensation and other high quality stars have been traded for multiple picks of lesser degree, I feel the two sides can come to terms. I say a combination of Buffalo swapping their 2nd round pick this year and a 3rd from next year to bring Gaither to the Bills would allow Buffalo to address other positions of need with their 9th overall pick (Dan Williams, NT; Jimmy Clausen, QB; Bryan Bulaga, RT). Thanks.

-Mike, Los Angeles

CB: If you could find a way to avoid giving up the Bills pick at 9, I’d be listening. Gaither is believed to have Pro Bowl potential and has only scratched the surface of what he can do as a left tackle. But I don’t see Baltimore being willing to negotiate anything less than a one.
5 –  Hey Chris,
I see Baltimore was interested in T.O but then I see they traded for Anquan Boldin and I see Derrick Mason is returning. Also in Cinncinati Chad’s lobbying to get T.O didn’t work. Is there any chance that we will re-sign T.O even though I saw that they weren’t gonna re-sign him? Do you think they will have a change of heart? I know T.O will want more money I say pay him! Have you talked to T.O lately, how is his attitude toward the Bills.Thanks.
Union City,Pa

CB: I do not see the Bills reversing their course on Terrell Owens. They said he will not be extended a contract offer and that’s the end of it. I have not spoken to Owens, but in speaking with people close to him it was never his intention to return to the Bills in 2010 anyway. So I think we can safely say it’s one and done in Buffalo for Owens.

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Posted in Inside the Bills
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