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Bills Daily Week in Review - Feb. 3rd - Feb. 26th, 1999Previous Week

February News

February 26, 1999

Flutie Close to Extension?:Bloomberg News is reporting that Doug Flutie's agent Jack Mula is saying his client is close to signing a two year contract extension with the Bills that will lock him up through the 2001 season and should free up $1 Million in salary cap room.

Season Tickets Price Discounted: The Bills have announced that season ticket holders will receive a 10% discount on their tickets. The discount combined with one less pre-season game should boost season tickets sales. Individual game tickets will remain the same next year.

February 25, 1999

Exhibition Schedule Announced: The Bills will play their first three pre-season games on the road to give them more time to finish renovations at Ralph Wilson Stadium. They will play in Seattle, Washington, and Cincinnati before finishing up with Pittsburgh at the newly renovated stadium the first week in September.

February 24, 1999

Irvin to Re-sign with Bills:The Buffalo News is reporting that Ken Irvin will sign a 4 year deal worth $10 Million to stay with Bills. Sam Gash reportedly restructured his contract to fit Irvin under the cap. When this deal goes through the Bills will have accomplished there two main goals in free agency, re-singing Irvin and Ostroski.

February 23, 1999

Three Bills Head For Europe:The Bills have allocated three players to play in NFL Europe. QB Mike Cawley and OT Dave Mudge will play for Amsterdam and LB Craig Guest will play for Frankfurt.

February 17, 1999

Flutie Talks Contract Extension: The Bills are in a pickle, contemplating whether or not to extend the contract of Doug Flutie.

February 16, 1999

Spielman Trade Official: The Bills officially have traded LB Chris Spielman to the Cleveland Browns for past considerations. I don't know what that means since the team is an expansion team but hopefully more details will unfold in the coming days. The fact that Spielman did miss last season and the Bills were anxious to unload him, to save salary cap room, brought his immediate value down. Bills fans are sorry to see such a class act go.

Ostroski Signing Official: The salary cap room that was created by trading Spielman has allowed Jerry Ostroski to sign a 4 year deal with the club worth $12.5 Million. He was the number one priority for the front office in the off season.

Irvin Looks at San Diego: Now that Ostroski is signed the Bills next priority is to try and re-sign Ken Irvin who has spent the last two days getting a look from San Diego. Irvin is looking for around $2-$3 Million per year and the Bills may have got in the game for him too late.

February 15, 1999

Riemersma likely to stay: The high tendered offer given to restricted free agent Jay Riemersma is along the lines of the one given to Ostroski last year. This means if somebody signs him it will cost them a number one pick, so don't expect him to go anywhere.

February 13, 1999

Bills Sign Jones: ESPN is reporting that Henry Jones has signed a three year contract worth $13.5 Million. This is a good move that may actually save the Bills money under the cap. Jones was due to become a free agent after next season. The Bills have many potential big name free agents in 2000, the more they sign now, the better off they'll be next off season.

Spielman Works Out for Browns: The Bills gave permission to the Browns to work out Chris Spielman. He did that yesterday and received a physical, this is a prelude to a possible trade to Cleveland for a draft pick. Fans, we've seen the last of #54 in a Bills uniform.

More Info on Ostroski Deal: Although he has yet to sign the deal, it is now being reported that Jerry Ostroski will sign a 4 year deal worth $12.5 Million with the Bills.

February 12, 1999

Bills Continue to Restructure Deals: All the restructuring the Bills have done so far as got them under the cap. They need to continue to clear room so Jerry Ostroski can sign the deal he has agreed to in principle, reports say it's worth about $2 Million a season. The latest two players to restructure are Phil Hansen and John Holecek

Spielman to the Browns?: WGR is reporting that the Bills are trying to work out a deal to send Chris Spielman to the Browns.

Butler goes to the Browns: If Spielman does go to Cleveland he will have a familiar face as Bills director of Alumni Relations Jerry Butler will be the Browns WR Coach.

February 11, 1999

Early and Simmons Released: In a move to free up more room under the cap the Bills released Quinn Early and Wayne Simmons. Early may come be invited back with a big cut in pay. The Bills are still looking to make cap room and Bruce Smith is not helping as he has refused to re-do his contract.

Ostroski Deal Done: It looks like the Bills have kept their biggest free agent fish off the market as a deal in principle has been worked out with Jerry Ostroski. The other big free agent is Ken Irvin, he has decided to check out the market.

Spielman Likely To Be Traded: It's looking more likely that Chris Spielman will be dealt when the trading period begins on Friday. The $2 Million he is suppose to make is very valuable to the Bills tight salary cap restraints and the talent at the inside linebacker position makes him expendable.

February 9, 1999

Bills lost two in Expansion Draft" Ray Jackson and Clarence "Poo Bear" Williams were chosen by the Cleveland Browns in the expansion draft. There is some controversy on who the Bills pulled back which meant losing Williams after Jackson was picked. Check out my article on how the Bills handled the draft and the consequences from it.

February 7, 1999

Six Bills Play as AFC Wins Pro Bowl: Here's a quick recap of how our guys did in the NFL's all star game:

  • Doug Flutie: He played the entire second half and struggled as did most of the quarterbacks. He had two nice completions, one to co-MVP Keyshawn Johnson on a third and 13 to set the AFC up inside the 5. That's were Flutie's blues in the red zone continued as he overthrew a wide open Frank Wychek in the end zone then nearly threw an interception. His other big completion was a 39 yard bomb down the left sideline to teammate Eric Moulds.
  • Sam Gash: He had the best game of all the Bills. He caught three passes including a three yard touchdown pass from John Elway. He also ran the ball three times including a nice 10 yard scamper. He was his usual self as a lead blocker.
  • Eric Moulds: He had a quiet day as only three passes were thrown his way. Two went off his hands and third was the 39 yarder from Flutie.
  • Ruben Brown: Ruben played a lot and had a good day opening up holes for the AFC's running game. There were no sacks given up by him although he did draw a illegal motion penalty.
  • Bruce Smith: He did most of his playing in the first half and recorded a half of sack.
  • Ted Washington: He played more then Bruce and seemed to get in the NFC's quarterbacks face a few time and had a couple of tackles.

Kelly Shines in Rookie Game: Jim Kelly was the coach of the losing AFC team in the Rookie Beach Bowl. This is the game that Robert Edwards suffered a knee injury so the coach checked in a couple of times at Wide Receiver for the shorthanded AFC. Kelly caught three passes, two of them for touchdowns against a defense that was barely trying to cover him (McQuarters was hopping while covering him on one play). Both of the catches were impressive as Kelly was able to keep both feet inbounds after leaping for the ball.

February 6, 1999

Spielman Ready to Return: LB Chris Spielman has declared that he is fit and ready to return to playing football as his wife is finished with treatment for breast cancer. The question remains, is were will he play? He stated he wants to start and not be part of a rotation, so Buffalo may not be the place for him. With the Bills still $3 Million over the cap a trade for draft picks may make good business sense. From a fan standpoint it would be tough to see one of the classiest players in the NFL leave the Bills.

February 5, 1999

Bills Restructure Contracts: The contracts of several Bills were restructured to give the team $8 Million in salary cap relief. As expected Thurman Thomas received a new three year deal worth about $500,000 a year plus incentives. His contract was the only one extended but Joe Panos, John Fina, Sam Rogers, and Ted Washington had their contracts re-worked as the Bills moved dollar figures around. The agent for QB Doug Flutie has also begun discussions with the team on a contract extension.

February 3, 1999

One Coach Stays...Another Leaving? With Joe Pendry narrowly missing out on the Bears job it was thought the Bills will have the coaching staff back in tact, but that might not be so. Defensive Backs coach Bill Bradley is on the short list of head coaching candidates for the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. Bradley joined the Bills staff from the Argos staff last season. It is also thought that if Dave McGinnis took the job with the Bears then Bradley would've went to Chicago as the defensive coordinator.

Bills and Ostroski Talk Deal: The agent for Jerry Ostroski says he is optimistic a deal will be struck before the free agency period starts next Friday. The Bills proposal was very close to what Ostroski is looking for, so the sides are not far apart. The front office has made signing Ostroski their number one priority.

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