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Signing Of Three Caps Slow Week

Things have slowed down at One Bills Drive after a wild first couple of months of the off season. This week the main news was the signing of three free agents that were expected to return to the Bills all along. We tackle those issues and more in our latest week in review complete with our take on the issues:

On Monday the Bills announced they have officially signed Alex Van Pelt to a new one year deal worth $477,000. Exclusive rights free agent Keion Carpenter also officially came to terms with a one year deal worth $389,000. The other player that agreed to a deal was the other exclusive rights free agent, Jeremy McDaniel. He accepted his tendered offer of $298,000. Our Take: McDaniel and Carpenter's signing were foregone conclusions given the Bills exclusive rights to both players. Van Pelt was a must re-sign because of his familiarity to the West Coast Offense.

Jerry Ostroski made news by accepting a pay cut while adding two years to his contract. The extension saved the Bills approximately $1 Million in cap room. Tom Donahoe also made it clear that Ostroski will be moved back to Right Guard the coming season. Bill Conaty is slotted in as the starting center but that could change through free agency and the draft. Our Take: Right Guard is Ostroski's ideal position, he should excel back at his best position. He showed again why he is a team player, taking the pay cut and moving positions one more time.

In free agent news, the Bills brought in a few players this week for a look. Among them was DT Jeremy Staat, and defensive linemen Tyoka Johnson and Keith Washington. The Bills also had a visit from DE Rich Owens. No contract offers were made to any of these players. The club still has interest in safety Marcus Robertson but may not have the cap room to sign him. Meanwhile, Tom Donahoe has left the door open for the return of Steve Christie if he doesn't get more money elsewhere. The club will also bring in a pro free agent as a third quarterback. Our Take: It's nice to see that the Bills have cleared some cap room to even look at some free agents. If they can find a way to keep Christie that would be very nice.

One former Bill found a new home this week. while another two are still trying to lock up a deal. Joe Panos signed with division rival New England for 2 years worth approximately $2 Million. Ted Washington is negotiating with the Chicago Bears for a three year deal. So far the money isn't up to what is agent wants but he is expected to negotiate a deal with the Bears this week. Another former Bill may end up with a division rival as Donovan Greer is in discussions with Miami about signing to play nickel back for the Dolphins. Our Take: We aren't surprised the going is that tough for Washington to get the money he wants. He's a part time player with a real tough agent to deal with. It will be sad to see Panos and possibly Greer with a division rival.

In on the field news, Gregg Williams confirmed in an interview that the West Coast Offense will include the old K-Gun. The coaching staff has held conversations with former Bill greats Jim Kelly, Steve Tasker, Kent Hull, and former coordinator Ted Marchibroda about the offense. The K-Gun was a one back set with three wide receivers and a tight end, many times out of the shotgun without a huddle. This will be an interesting wrinkle that we will have to see how often it is used. Our Take: It's nice to see that some of the great tradition of the early 90's will live on in the new regime. The K-Gun may be a good offense for Rob Johnson to run. It uses the pass to setup the run.

Ralph Wilson answered e-mail questions from fans on Thursday. Some of the highlights include, Wilson saying that Johnson may have a more accurate arm than Jim Kelly and Joe Ferguson did. He did add that Johnson needs to start showing leadership skills. On the salary cap, Wilson confirmed what Donahoe said earlier in the week, that the club will suffer from cap problems at least one more off season. On the future, Wilson said he hopes to have a new deal with Sam Cowart before next season ends. Our Take: It's nice to see the owner candid on the internet. Getting Cowart locked up before he's a free agent is a priority. It sad to see that we will go through one more year of cap problems.

The Bills off season conditioning program continued this week with 85% of the players in attendance. The Bills also sent scouts to check out probably first round QB Drew Brees. Our Take: The attendance percentage is pretty good for the first week of non workout conditioning. Brees may be picked by the Bills if he is still there by pick 14. That is not probable though. It will make things interesting if he is though.

Speaking of the draft the Bills are expecting to get up to four compensatory picks at this week's owner's meeting that Ralph Wilson isn't attending. Our Take: For a team desperately needing young talent for depth the more picks the better. For the latest on the draft, check out our draft page.

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