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April & Draft News
April 28, 1999
Riemersma and Martin Sign: The club took care of some paper work by signing restricted free agents Jay Riemersma and Manny Martin to new contracts, terms were not disclosed. The Bills had exclusive rights to both of them since no other teams tried to sign them before April 15th.
April 26, 1999
Mini-Camp Ends: The first mini-camp of the off season came to an uneventful end yesterday. The next mini-camp will be June 1-4 and June 7-10. The only interesting event on the field was Joe Panos getting some work in at Center behind Dusty Ziegler and Bill Conaty.
Home Preseason Game Changed: Check your calendars the only home pre-season game has been moved to Saturday Sept. 4th from the Friday night.
April 25, 1999
Price OK: The MRI taken on Friday revealed a sprained medial collateral ligament of the right knee. This is good news, since it's only a sprain he will not need surgery and is expected to miss a month of action.
April 24, 1999
The two biggest pieces of news from Mini-camp are not good:
Price Injured:2nd round draft pick Peerless Price injured his knee during the first day of mini-camp and was carted off the field. He had a MRI on the knee and the results will hopefully made available today. Their are conflicting reports over how serious the injury is. Most of the people in the Bills organization say it's just a sprain and he should be OK in a month. A Sporting News article says that he may miss the whole season. We will keep you posted.
Reed No-Show: The only no-show at mini-camp is Andre Reed who is not coming due to a disagreement over his contract. This is the first most Bills fans are hearing about a problem with his contract, but Coach Phillips confirmed this yesterday. Reed is apparently miffed at the big deals signed by Jerry Ostroski and Ken Irvin. Reed's current deal goes through next season. The Bills say they have no cap room to re-do his deal. Don't expect to see him at the June mini-camp either.
A-Train Doesn't Participate:The groin injury that hampered Antowain Smith last year is still bothering him so he did not practice at mini-camp yesterday.
More free agent signings: GM John Butler has announced the 18 free agent signings.
April 22, 1999
Mini-Camp Arrives: The coaches will get their first look at the new draft picks today, as they show up for evaluations and testing. Mini-camp will be tomorrow thru Sunday at the practice field adjacent to the Ralph. In past years the Sunday session was opened to the public but that is not possible this year because of the renovations going on at the stadium.
Smedley Re-Signs: Restricted free agent Eric Smedley has signed a new deal with the club, terms were not disclosed at this time. This was expected since the Bills had exclusive rights to him since no other team offered him a contract before April 15th.
Free Agent Signings Continue: The Bills have added another RB, LSU backup Kendall Cleveland was signed as a rookie free agent. He backed up Kevin Faulk and was pretty reliable. Don't expect him to make the team.
April 21, 1999
Bills Sign Another: More depth was added to the receiving corp as the Bills signed rookie free agent WR Jeremy McDaniel. He is not considered a tough player but has some talent and was one of the best receivers left on the board when the draft ended. Wade Phillips said in an interview that the club has actually signed 16 free agents and will release the names in a few days. Most of those players will be training camp fodder to fill up the 80 man roster.
Training Camp Date Set: Mark the date on your calendar, training camp will open in Fredonia on July 30, 1999. It is later this year since the season starts later.
April 19, 1999
Bills sign first rookie free agent: The Bills have signed rookie free agent RB Brian Edwards from East Tennessee. He seems to be another tweener back like Linton and Bryson. He will most likely be training camp fodder, but Poo Bear Williams was also suppose to be that last year also and he made the team.
Draft Day Summary: The Bills seemed to make the most of where they picked, getting the player they wanted in the first round in CB Antoine Winfield. They also got a potential big play maker in WR Peerless Price who fell in to their laps in the second round. They filled a major holes in their depth by drafting two TE's as we expected in our Bills Mock Draft. In the third round they took a FB to backup Gash, Shawn Bryson is in the mold of Linton and will make this club. In the fourth Round they took Bobby Collins and in round seven they nabbed Sheldon Jackson, both can make the team. The surprise came when they added two linebackers, Keith Newman in round 4 and Jay Foreman in the fifth, both players are gambles. Another surprise was that only one defensive lineman was picked and that was with their final pick. Bryce Fisher will have to finish his military commitments before reporting to the Bills. I never didn't see the overwhelming need for help on the defensive line with Marcellus Wiley ready to start if needed. S Armon Hatcher was taken in the sixth round.
April 17 and 18, 1999
All of the information from draft weekend has been updated and incorporated into the notes above and to our Draft Page along with our overview and grade for the entire Bills draft.
April 5, 1999
Bills Re-Sign Williams and Moran: The Bills have re-signed two backup defensive linemen. Pat Williams and Sean Moran each signed new deals, terms were not disclosed on either deal. Williams was an exclusive rights free agent and Moran was a Restricted Free Agent.
April 3, 1999
Bills Sign TE: The club signed another street free agent, adding TE Eric Stocz to the roster. He missed the 1998 season on IR with the Detroit Lions. He spent much of the two seasons before that on their practice squad. He is suppose to be a tenacious blocker but is probably training camp fodder with the Bills expected to draft a TE early in the draft.
April 2, 1999
Albright Agrees to Deal: Long Snapper Ethan Albright has agreed to a new three year deal with the Bills. Despite salary cap restraints the club has managed to keep all of their unrestricted free agents with the exception of Lonnie Johnson who they didn't want to retain. Their remaining UFA is Marlon Kerner he should be back if he is able to play.
April 1, 1999
Schedule Released!: The schedule has been released. The Bills home opener is against the Jets week 2 on a Sunday Night, this will be their first primetime game at home in a number of years. They play three primetime games in all, including a Monday Night game in Miami. Other highlights include a bye week in December and three road games in a row in the middle of the year.
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