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NEWS ARCHIVES - MARCH 15TH - MARCH 21ST, 2004 PREVIOUS WEEK

Van Pelt Moves To Broadcast Booth

Alex Van Pelt- AP Photo Bills Approach Schobel: Next year the Bills have several big names becoming free agents and they want to get at least one of them locked up earlier. The Buffalo News is reporting that the team has broached the subject of a contract extension with Aaron Schobel. He has led the team in sacks in his first three years in the league and is a free agent after the 2004 season. Another big name that will also be a free agent then is Jonas Jennings. No word yet on if the team will approach him about a new deal before next off season.


Saturday March 20, 2004

Volek Likely To Stay In Tennessee; Atlanta Out: It may be down to just two teams now in the race to get Billy Volek. The Atlanta Falcons, who reportedly offered the most money, have apparently withdrawn their offer because they got tired of waiting for Volek to make a decision. In a statement to an Atlanta newspaper Falcons GM Rich McKay said "enough is enough" and backed out of the bidding. That leaves Buffalo and Tennessee seeking out his services. His has loyalty to the Titans and apparently they have a higher offer on the table than the Bills. Buffalo is offering a chance at potentially more playing time than he would get behind Steve McNair. A Nashville newspaper says that the Titans and Volek may be closing in on an agreement as the Titans received a counter proposal yesterday that they say they can live with.

Bannister Spent Two Days In Town: The Bills appear real high on restricted free agent Alex Bannister. He spent two days with the Bills before leaving Buffalo on Thursday night. He reportedly has other visits planned next week. Bannister would give the Bills young, speedy receiver with excellent coverage skills as a special teamer. These are two things they need especially with the free agent losses of Sammy Morris and DaShon Polk and the lack of speed at receiver since Peerless Price left. The Seahawks have the right to match any offer he gets or get a 5th round draft pick as compensation.


Friday March 19, 2004

Bills Look At Gibson: The Bills brought in free agent defensive tackle Oliver Gibson for a visit today. He is a nine year veteran who spent the last five years in Cincinnati before being released. He played his first four years in Pittsburgh. He was a starter his first four years with the Bengals but did not start a game last year. He has 243 career tackles and 17.5 career sacks.

Williams Wants Buffalo: Roland Williams was glowing after his visit to Buffalo yesterday. He said he would love to return to his hometown team and play for the Bills. He has other visits scheduled but would cancel him if a deal can be worked out with the Bills.

Bannister Wants To Be A Receiver: Restricted free agent WR Alex Bannister said he thought the organization was great during his visit and is interested in being at least a third option at wide receiver for some team. He made the Pro Bowl last year as a special teams ace and would continue that role if he came to Buffalo but he also wants to start making a name for himself as a receiver. He has seen limited time at the position during his career in Seattle.

Volek Decison Delayed: The Bills late entry into the free agent derby for Billy Volek has delayed his decision. He wanted to have a decision on his future today but now admits he may have to wait through the weekend to make a final decision. QB Coach Sam Wyche has reportedly been on the phone with Volek this week talking about the virtues of coming to Buffalo with the enticement of future playing time. The highest offer most likely is the Atlanta offer but he would sit behind Mike Vick with the Falcons. The Titans are also in the mix with a competitive bid but they are in a tough cap spot. They have loyalty going in their favor.


Thursday March 18, 2004

Volek Update: Nashville newspapers report that Billy Volek has narrowed his choices to Buffalo, Atlanta, and Tennessee. Taking into account counter offers a deal is not likely to be done before the weekend. As we reported earlier, the Bills appear to be on the outside looking in. Atlanta has the best offer on the table and Volek said if money was the only concern he would be a Falcon already. Playing behind Mike Vick is not to enticing for Volek who wants to be a starter eventually. His first choice would be to stay in Tennessee as he has loyalty to the team he has played the last four years for. The Bills may intrigue him and his agent said they have made a very serious offer but it seems to be less money than his other two offers. Stay tuned to Bills Daily for the latest, although we feel the Bills will not end up with the free agent quarterback as Tom Donahoe is not likely to overpay for a player that has had one career start.

Bills, Volek Not Likely: A report out of Atlanta says that Billy Volek has narrowed his choices to Atlanta and Tennessee. That is according to his agent. We reported yesterday that the Bills offer was not comparable to the one by Atlanta or Tennessee and the Falcons seem to have the high offer by more than $1 Million. The same report says that the Bills may turn their attention towards Falcons' free agent QB Doug Johnson.


Wednesday March 17, 2004

Two Visits Tomorrow: WNSA is reporting that two players will be in Buffalo for visits tomorrow. TE Roland Williams will be in. It was originally reported that he would be in today but the weather may have something to do with his delay. Restricted free agent WR Alex Bannister will join him in Buffalo for a visit. He has seven career catches in three seasons with Seattle but made the Pro Bowl last year as a special teams player. The Bills could use help on special teams with the free agent loss of DaShon Polk and Sammy Morris.

Bills Third In Volek Race? According to reports, the Bills contract proposal for Billy Volek ranks them third in the race to get him. Reports say Atlanta and Tennessee both have made more substanial offers. The Falcons are really trying hard to get him and supposedly made a lucrative three year offer. The drawback with Atlanta is he would be behind Mike Vick.

Polk Signs With Houston: DaShon Polk became the latest unrestricted free agent to leave the Bills. He has signed a deal with Houston. Terms were not disclosed. His departure leaves just Keith McKenzie unsigned. The Bills have not retained any unrestricted free agent.

Van Pelt Joins Broadcast Team: A day after being released by the Bills, Alex Van Pelt was given a new job by the team he has been with for almost 10 years. The team announced today that Van Pelt will join the radio broadcast team. He will be the new analyst for all Bills games and team with John Murphy who moved to the play by play chair when Van Miller retired. Van Pelt won't say that the move officially ends the playing career and won't say he is retired but because of his serious wrist injury he knows it is very unlikely that he will ever suit up again. It will be nice for fans to still here him every week during games. He beat out such former players and coaches as Fred Smerlas, Charles Johnson, Mark Kelso, Glenn Parker, and Marv Levy for the job.

Williams To Visit: The Rochester D&C reports that Rochester native Roland Williams will be visiting the Bills today. The free agent TE visited with the team last offseason and is once again on the open market. The team is still looking for a backup tight end and previously had Mark Bruener in for a visit.


Tuesday March 16, 2004

Bills Readying Offer For Volek? A move that may be related to the release of Alex Van Pelt, WNSA is reporting that the agent for Billy Volek said he expects an official offer from the Bills tonight. Volek visited Sunday night and Monday Morning and has an offer on the table from Atlanta. His current team, Tennessee is also interested in retaining his services along with Green Bay and Denver.

Pass Returns To Pats: Another free agent visitor has gone elsewhere. FB Patrick Pass was brought in by the Bills two weeks ago but he has decided to re-sign with the Patriots. The Bills are in the market for a fullback now that Sam Gash has signed with New Orleans.

Gash Signs With Saints: The Bills have lost their fourth unrestricted free agent. Sam Gash has signed a one year deal with New Orleans. That leaves only two unrestricted free agents left in DaShon Polk and Keith McKenzie. Gash didn't seem to be in the Bills plans for this season as they have signed Daimon Shelton and entertained other fullback in free agency visits.

Bills Release Van Pelt: the man with the longest tenure of any Bill is no longer with the team. The Bills announced today that they have terminated the contract of Alex Van Pelt after he failed his physical. He had been with the Bills since 1994. The move saves only about $400,000 in salary cap space as he will still count at about $900,000 on this year's cap. This move isn't a surprise as the team is looking for a younger quarterback to groom for the future.

Mularkey On Vincent: Mike Mularkey spoke to the media about the signing of Troy Vincent today. He said he was very honest with him in their interview and said that earned Vincent's respect. The coach was blunt with him about his lack of defensive expertise and said he has know idea how long Vincent will play corner with the Bills before moving to Safety. Mularkey said he is as much interesting in Vincent's high character as he is in his playing ability, that combination was seen as very valuable to the team. He feels the signing fills the biggest void on the team. He hopes the success Vincent has had intercepting passes will rub off on some of the other players. He called Vincent a special type of player who can still be very effective despite his age and that the scheme the team runs will help him.

Vincent Excited About New Opportunity: Troy Vincent said he's excited to be a Bill during his conference call with the media today. He is due in Buffalo tomorrow, weather permitting. He calls it a new beginning and another opportunity for him. He said he evaluated all the possibilities and thought that Buffalo was the best decision he could make at this point in his career. He said Ralph Wilson and Mike Mularkey were reasons for his decision to sign with the Bills. He called Mularkey a real gentleman and liked his attitude that family comes first. He appreciated Mularkey's honesty with him. He feels the Bills have the talent to be successful in the league. He said in making the decision he looked at the roster and knows that with the talent they have they can win and he expects to be one of the components to get the Bills back to what they once were. He feels the combination of coverages that the Bills use play to his advantage. He will let his play decide how long he plays cornerback. His family will not move to Buffalo with him.

Vincent Official: The Bills made it official this morning. The newest member of the team is Troy Vincent. He is expected to speak to the media sometime this afternoon via a conference call. Vincent is a 12 year pro who has spent the last eight years in Philadelphia and has gone to the Pro Bowl five times including this past season. The Bills won't release the terms of the contract but as we reported yesterday, it is believed to be a six year deal worth $20 Million with a $3.6 Million bonus. One report says his base salary this year will be $2.4 Million which would give him a salary cap figure of $3 Million.

No Official Word On Vincent Yet: The agent for the newest Bill Troy Vincent confirmed that his client has agreed to terms with the Bills but the team declined comment only saying that they are negotiating with the free agent cornerback. His agent said that Vincent is relieved to have made a decision between three very good possibilites and that his client is happy to join the Bills. Expect an official announcement from the club today.

Volek Impressed: Billy Volek was impressed with QB coach Sam Wyche during his visit to Buffalo according to his agent. Ken Staninger said that the Bills have a wonderful franchise and he planned on talking to Tom Donahoe last night. A report out of the Nashville Tennessean says that the Bills contacted Staninger at least three times yesterday. He said that the market is hot for his client but that there is still time for the Bills to get involved in the pursuit of the free agent quarterback. Volek received another proposal from Atlanta yesterday and is looking to make a decision by the end of the week.


Monday March 15, 2004

Teague Option Picked Up: The Bills picked up the two year option on center Trey Teague. The move keeps him in Buffalo to 2005 and gives him another $2 Million in his pocket. He will make $5.75 Million over the two years.

Bills Land Vincent: Broadcast reports say that the Bills have landed their biggest free agent acquisition of the offseason. Reports from WNSA and Comcast SportsNet say that Troy Vincent has agreed to join the Bills. He supposedly told the Bengals of his decision this morning turning down a three year, $10 Million deal with Cincinnati. The Comcast report says his deal with the Bills is for six years and is worth $20 Million with a signing bonus of $3.6 Million. There is no official word yet coming out of One Bills Drive.

Volek In Town Today: The Bills have confirmed that Billy Volek was in town today to meet with the team. Volek is a highly sought after free agent quarterback. He has one career start and that was a 28-26 victory over the Bills last year. He hasn't ruled out returning to Tennessee but Atlanta is hot on his heels looking to sign him. Green Bay and others are also interested.

Vincent Decision May Be Today: The Bengals website is reporting that Troy Vincent is expected to make a decision today on where he will play next year. He is choosing between three good teams according to his agent. The Bills, Bengals, and the Chiefs are all in the running for his services.



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