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March 25, 1999
Lonnie Gone...Finally:Much maligned TE Lonnie Johnson is officially not a Bill anymore as he signed a free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs. He will join former maligned Bill Todd Collins there.
March 24, 1999
Flutie Cashes In:CBS will pay Doug Flutie $6 Million for the movie rights to his life story for a made for TV movie. Flutie has recently released a new book also. The little QB that could has now made $12 Million this month with his new contract and movie rights.
March 23, 1999
Wilson Expect Sale After Death:During an interview with The Buffalo News, Ralph Wilson said he expects the club to be sold after his death to avoid a big estate tax bill. Since his family would not run the club he would hope that a local owner would buy it to keep the team in Western New York. Wilson goes on to say that the new lease agreement and renovations to the stadium should help keep the team there regardless of who owns the team. The buyout clause that kicks in to the lease after five years is doubled if anybody other than Wilson or his family owned the team.
March 22, 1999
Bills Bits: GM John Butler finished second to Minnesota GM Jeff Diamond for the Sporting News Executive of the Year Award.
The club extended the contracts of all the assistant coaches one year to take them all through the 2000 season.
March 18, 1999
Irvin Officially Signs Deal:With money saved under the cap by the signing of Doug Flutie the Bills were able to finally get Ken Irvin's signature on his new 4 year deal worth a reported $10.8 Million. His agent Kyle Rote said his client turned down an larger offer from another NFL team to stay in Buffalo. Speculation is that offer came from either Cincinnati or San Diego.
Check out my analysis of the contract that Flutie signed.
March 16, 1999
Bills get Compensation Pick:The Bills will get an extra seventh round pick for compensation of free agents lost in the 1998 off season. That gives the team a total of 9 picks.
March 15, 1999
Flutie agrees to extension:ESPN is reporting that Doug Flutie has agreed to a 4 year contract extension worth $22 Million with the team. The report also says, as we figured, that Rob Johnson will remain with the club.
March 13, 1999
Flutie talks heat up:The Bills may be on the verge of making Doug Flutie the second $5 Million a year QB on the roster. Talks have resumed between the club and his agent Jack Mula on a deal reportedly worth $22 Million over 4 years with a $6 Million signing bonus.
March 11, 1999
Irvin Signing Official: WGRZ-TV in Buffalo is reporting that Ken Irvin has officially signed his deal. Rob Johnson, of all people, restructured his deal to help sign Irvin. Johnson showed class and unshelfishness that another Bills QB has not shown in his renegotiations. Flutie is still talking to the Bills and a new four year deal is still very possible.
March 10, 1999
Flutie Negotiations Stall: Empire Sports is reporting that Flutie turned down a new four year deal with the club that would have given him a $6 Million signing bonus. He is unhappy with the second and third years of the deal. Look for the two sides to continue to talk, but if those talks breakdown, don't be surprised if the Bills let him play out his final year and take their chances next off season since they do have Rob Johnson waiting in the wings.
Club signs Wide Receiver: The team has finally signed a player! Street free agent WR A.C. Tellison is a University of Miami graduate who saw time in camps with the Redskins and Rams.
March 5, 1999
Draft Projections: The Sporting News Mock Draft has the Bills picking DE Patrick Kearney from Virginia.
March 3, 1999
Irvin Deal Details:Even though it hasn't been officially signed yet the deal that Ken Irvin has signed with the team is a 4 year deal worth $10.8 Million with a $3.6 signing bonus. The Bills need to clear cap room before the deal is signed. Kevin Williams is the latest Bill to restructure his deal to clear room.
Lonnie Gone for Good? It looks like the Lonnie Johnson era in Buffalo has finally come to a merciful end. Johnson's agent and the Bills brass haven't even spoke since the season ended and it is expected that Johnson will be elsewhere next year. The only teams showing interest in him is Kansas City and Detroit. Jay Riemersma will be the starter at tight end and a backup will probably come in the form of a high draft pick.
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