Bledsoe Excited About New Deal: Drew Bledsoe spoke on a conference call to Western New York media about his newly restructured thee year contract. He said he's really excited about his new deal because it allows him and his family to have stability with the Bills organization and the community. His first reaction as a competitor was to play out his contract and see what happens with the option in November. After stepping back and looking at his priorities he knew he had to restructure for the good of the team and to give them cap room to sign another high quality player. He also feels it gives the team stability at the quarterback position. He also feels that the November option would have been a distraction to the team and that wouldn't be good. He said he's unsure about how long he'll play but he feels they have made some good moves in the draft to help them immediately and they have an outstanding coaching staff. If they keep winning he will want to play longer.
Bledsoe Plans To Help Losman: Drew Bledsoe's conference call was also the first time the media had a chance to speak with him since the Bills drafted J.P. Losman. Bledsoe called Losman a talented young man and he will do everything he can to teach the guy and help him along. He will help him develop as a quarterback so when it is his turn to come in and play, he will be able to play well. He said his contract situation had no bearing on how he would handle his relationship with Losman. Bledsoe says he completely understood the move to trade up for Losman. He said the club has to plan for the future while playing now. It makes sense to get the QB now, so he has time to develop for a few years. He emphasized that Losman is the QB of the future, just not the immediate future.
Bledsoe Ecstatic About Evans: Drew Bledsoe said he's ecstatic about the pick of Lee Evans that gives him a downfield threat to take the pressure off of Eric Moulds. He feels Evans is a solid receiver with good blocking skills.
Donahoe Praises Bledsoe's Team Commitment: Tom Donahoe applauded Drew Bledsoe for his efforts in restructuring his contract. He called him a great team player that is not happening in other cities. Donahoe would not get into the specifics of the new deal but it is a three year contract that takes him through 2006 but he did admit Bledsoe did take concessions to help the team, not just a straight restructuring. Donahoe called it a win-win situation for everyone and he feels it was the right thing to do for all parties. He feels J.P. Losman is coming into a great situation where he can learn from a great QB like Bledsoe and great QB coach like Sam Wyche. Donahoe also is happy that the deal eliminates a potential distraction in November with the option clause hanging overhead. He said the club can live with the terms of the contract under the cap for the full three years if they need to.
Extra Cap Space May Stay In House: Tom Donahoe said the extra cap space freed up by the restructuring of Drew Bledsoe's contract could be used in a number of ways. They could use it to sign a free agent or two after June 1st but Donahoe hinted he may use the money to lock up some players on the roster for the long term. Aaron Schobel, Jonas Jennings, and Pat Williams are all scheduled to become free agents at the end of the year. There has been reports that the Bills have opened negotiations with Schobel on a new deal.
Coaches To Decide On QB Situation: Tom Donahoe also said it will be up to the coaches to decide whether or not to bring in a veteran QB. He seemed to be leaning towards making J.P. Losman the number two guy right away since he was a first round pick but the final decision will be up to the coaches.
Bledsoe Renegotiates Deal: The Bills announced today that QB Drew Bledsoe has re-negotiated his contract. He had an option due in November that would have cost the team $7 Million to kick in the final three years of his contract or $2 Million to make him a free agent at the end of the year. That clause apparently is not included in the new deal. Terms were not disclosed of the new deal.
Peters Projects At Tackle: One of the more intriguing undrafted free agent signings is Arkansas TE Jason Peters. He was projected to go in the third or fourth rounds in most mock drafts. In fact, we had the Bills picking him in the third round of our mock draft. He is 336 pounds, which is huge for a tight end but he runs very well for his size. The Bills project him as a tackle as they gave him number 67. He will battle for a backup spot at tackle where there is at least one opening. Depth Chart.
Spicer Deal For Three Years: While most undrafted free agents are signed as camp fodder, usually one or two stand out and make teams. One on the Bills list of 18 that has a chance, is Western Carolina defensive end Michale Spicer. A sign may be that he signed a three year deal, while most of these types of players get a one year deal. If he makes the team and plays the three years he can make $750,000. He chose Buffalo because the team didn't draft any defensive ends and he feels he has a better chance of making the team than elsewhere. Spicer broke a school record for most tackles behind the line of scrimmage in his college career.
Monday April 26, 2004
Bills Agree To Terms With 18: The Bills have agreed to terms with 18 undrafted free agents. Two of them we reported earlier, TE Jason Peters of Arkansas and QB Nathan Chandler of Iowa. They added four cornerbacks since they didn't draft any, including Jabari Greer who had a standout career in Tennessee including 147 tackles. They also added UB safety Mark Graham. They added two running backs including Shaud Williams of Alabama. He led the SEC in rushing last year. Other names that stick out in the list of 18 is WR Kevin Beard from Miami. He was solid when healthy but had injury problems throughout his college career. He had 67 total receptions in his career. They did take one fullback in McNeese State's Luke Lawton. Plays with abandon and is one of the strongest players around. Known as a solid blocking fullback who has a chance of making the team due to the lack of depth at the position. An interesting signing is DE Constantin Ritzmann from Germany. He played at Tennessee and is a project but considered an underrated talent. Complete List.
Undrafted Free Agent Signings Begin: Over the next couple of days you will see all NFL teams sign a bunch of undrafted free agents. The Bills have yet to announce who they have signed but rumors and reports have begun. WKBW-TV is reporting that the Bills have signed undrafted free agent QB Nathan Chandler of Iowa. Another player the Bills appear to be showing interest in is undrafted free agent TE Jason Peters, who we had going to the Bills in our mock draft. No confirmation yet on any signings. If the Bills do land Chandler they are getting a huge quarterback. He is 6' 7" tall and has mobility. The main knock on him is experience, he started only one year for Iowa after coming over from a junior college.
Draft Results A Few Years Away: Nobody can really an analyze a draft for a few years but it is more fun to analyze it right after it happens. We have done our annual review and analysis of the Bills draft and we like what we saw as you would know from our final grade. The one thing for sure, Tom Donahoe's future is on the line with the trade up for J.P. Losman. Complete Analysis.
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