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Bills Sign Five; Wiley Out 4-6 Weeks
The Bills signed four NFL Europe players. Two wide receivers and two defensive backs will round out the training camp roster. WR Kevin Drake was signed as expected, he led NFL Europe with 12 touchdowns this season and made the all-NFL Europe team. He had 37 receptions on the season for 525 yards and was one of the most coveted players that wasn't allocated to an NFL team in Europe. The other signings are WR Todd Floyd and cornerbacks Nick Ferguson and Quincy Coleman. Floyd was with the team in last year's training camp but a hamstring injury hampered his opportunity. Floyd caught 45 passes including five touchdowns in Europe this season and probably will be rated behind Drake on depth chart. Ferguson will probably have an opportunity to stick as a free safety. He was on the world champion Rhein Fire with Drake and was an All-NFL Europe team member in 1999. He had two interceptions and 48 tackles this past season. Ferguson has been around awhile, playing three years in the CFL and NFL stints with Cincinnati in 1996 and Chicago last summer. Coleman had three interceptions for Frankfurt and also forced three fumbles to go along with his 20 tackles. He is considered a playmaker who will challenge for a backup cornerback spot. He was also with the Bears last pre-season. Our Take: The club has a 81 man roster which is one over the limit. They will undoubtedly cut Corey Jones, who left the team's first mini camp and was going to be cut anyway. The signings are all no-brainers and will help the club with training camp depth. Drake and Coleman are the most intriguing of the new Bills.
The Bills reached an agreement with fourth round pick Avion Black on a three year $1.082 Million deal. His signing if for the rookie minimum base salary this year but includes a $256,000 bonus. That adds just over $85,000 to the club's salary cap. He is the fourth pick to sign with the club. Our Take: We've been calling for this for a while now, but we think Drew Haddad will be next to sign.
The other big news this past weekend was the shocking news that Marcellus Wiley will miss all of training camp after undergoing back surgery on Saturday to repair a bulging disk. He is expected to be out of action 4-6 weeks and hopes to be back to participate in the final preseason game. The Bills expect to have him in the starting lineup on opening night against the Titans. Our Take: The timing could be worse, this is the same surgery Steve McNair had last season. Hopefully there will be no complications but this does add a bit of uncertainty to the defensive line. The bright side is, that it will give first round pick Erik Flowers some more experience during training camp as he fills in for Wiley.
Individual game tickets went on sale Saturday and the Packers game sold out almost immediately. There are still tickets remaining for all the other games with the Miami, Tennessee, and Indianapolis games likely sell outs down the line. Our Take: The reason the Packers game sold out and not the revenge game with Tennessee, is because Packer fans bought up a lot of seats during the group sales period. Also, night games, like the Titans game, are harder to sell tickets for since the club is regional. Don't wait too long for your tickets though, The Titans and Dolphins game will definitely sell out.
Also this week, second round pick Travares Tillman had a chat session on NFL.com. He said that players like Henry Jones have been a big help. He expects to sign by training camp and hopes to start sometime early in the season. He does feel playing in cold weather will be a huge adjustment. Our Take: Tillman will face a hard time breaking in to the starting lineup as he has been slow in picking up the playbook. He said he hopes to have it down by camp.
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