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Bills Prepare for Free Agency
It's a busy week coming up for the Bills with tender offers, and possible franchise and transitional tags handed out, with also possible big name cuts on the horizon. They have until Thursday to hand out the tags and tender offers and Friday to get under the cap. Before we look ahead lets look at what has transpired in the past week in our week in review:Ed Roski Jr. is making a second attempt at landing a franchise for LA. His bid was rejected last year October when Houston was awarded a franchise. His plan has him buying Minority ownership in a team and moving it to LA. He mention Buffalo, Arizona, and New Orleans as possible teams to move. Bottom Line: It won't happen! The Bills have four years left on the initial portion of the lease and then it would cost a lot of money to move them out. As long as Ralph Wilson is with us he will not sell a minority stake in the team for the purpose of moving it.
The salary cap woes will come to a head this week as the Bills need to get under the cap possibilities are endless. Butler as said "there will have to be changes". That sets the stage for the possible cutting of parts or all of the "big three". If all three left it would save $5 Million on the cap. It is also looking less likely that Ruben Brown will be slapped with the franchise tag. If they do it, there will be an immediate cap figure of $4.081 Million added to the Bills cap. They may not be able to afford it since they are still $10 Million over the cap. Bottom Line: Tough week critical to the future, if salary cuts aren't taken it may be time to say goodbye to Thomas and Smith. Brown and Riemersma need to be kept at all costs. Moulds should be locked up this off season. Transition tag could be used on Riemersma for a value of $1,860 Million.
On the field, two Bills participated in the Pro Bowl. Ruben Brown and Sam Gash played. As the norm, Gash did not carry the ball and dropped two passes as he was held without any stats but participated with his usual brusing blocking.
In other pro bowl news, Bruce Smith was there to be honored as the Pro Bowl Defensive Player of the 90's.
The Bills held a press conference on Thursday to introduce James Saxon as the new Running Backs Coach. Saxon seems to be close with offensive coordinator Joe Pendry. Pendry coached Saxon in Kansas City from '89-'91. Saxon was with the Bills in last year's training camp since he was participating in the Ralph Wilson Minority Fellowship Coaching program. Obviously that helped him land the job. Coach Phillips wasn't at the press conference since he was in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. He did say he was impressed with Saxon's leadership abilities and his playing and coaching style of not allowing mistakes. Bottom Line: This is a very inexperienced coach.
Ted Cottrell is rightfully disappointed that he didn't get a shot at a head coaching job but he has put it behind him and is getting ready to run the number one ranked defense again next year. In other coaching news, Linebacker Coach Chuck Lester was a candidate for the defensive coordinator job with the Jets but he was never interviewed as Mike Nolan got the job. Lester is considered a candidate for the linebackers coaching position with the Jets. A.J. Smith remains one of five candidated to be the director of football operations with the Steelers. Bottom Line: Cottrel should have at least received some interviews for the openings but we are lucky he is back. The odds are against Smith getting the job in Pittsburgh and that is also good news for the Bills. Lester should remain since a move to the Jets would be a lateral move.
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