Front Office Prepares For Camp
As training camp nears the front office was busy working out some things in preparation for this week's start of camp. The team extended Brian Moorman's contract and took five players off the roster. That tops the news from the week; here is our take on the issues:On Wednesday the team ripped up the one year tender off signed by Brian Moorman and gave him a new seven year contract worth around $6 Million. He received a $300,000 signing bonus and a $100,000 roster bonus along with a base salary of $600,000 this year giving him about $650,000 more this year than he would have received under the tender. After the third year of the deal, the team has an option to kick in the last four years but it will cost them between $300,000 and $1 Million depending on incentives reached including pro bowl appearances. Moorman was the alternate for the Pro Bowl this past year. Our Take: Locking up Moorman was a good deal, we question the need for a seven year deal, but the out clause after three and the cap friendly deal makes this workable for both sides.
Another player we thought the team should re-sign before camp started is Antoine Winfield. That isn't likely to happen. Pro Football Weekly is reporting that neither side appears to be in a rush to get something done and Winfield is likely to go into next off season with unrestricted free agency a real possibility. Our Take: The Bills say they do want to keep Winfield but they are taking a real risk not pushing for a new deal now. We understand Winfield may not want to do a deal now but the team should push the issue. The fact that he is from the old regime may play a factor into this.
Continuing with the contract theme, the agent for Willis McGahee says talks should really begin heating up on a contract for his client. McGahee's agent doesn't foresee a holdout, the team wants him in camp in time to help the learning curve even though he won't be practicing. Our Take: Our feel, is get the other four picks signed early in the week, if McGahee ends up being a short term holdout who cares? He's not playing anyway, it won't hurt his classroom work too much if he misses the beginning of camp.
The team released four players on Tuesday and parted ways with another one who contributed last year. Jason Bostic was waived after failing his physical. He tore his ACL and lateral cruciate ligament last year and isn't ready to play. The four players released were DL Andy Bowers, CB Ken Hilliard, OL Joey Hollenbeck, and DL Merceda Perry. Hollenbeck was on the team's injury list late last year and Perry played in NFL Europe. Our Take: The four players released were just camp fodder anyway. The team should look to re-sign Bostic if he ever gets healthy, he played fairly well last year when he was called upon.
Tickets for the first night practice at St. Johns Fisher on July 28th were gone in a half an hour on Monday. Dicks Sporting Goods is giving away a pair of tickets with a purchase at three Rochester area locations starting this Thursday. Our Take: The quickness practice tickets disappeared adds to the growing enthusiasm about the coming season.
Tom Donahoe continued his media circuit run by appearing on ESPN radio, he said that team will play it by ear, as far as getting McGahee on the field this season. He also raved about Jeff Posey while Mel Kiper Jr. talked highly about Kevin Thomas. Donahoe also feels like Danion Sidney will help with the depth at cornerback. Our Take: Look for Posey to be put in good position to get sacks, something the team did not do for Keith Newman last year, Dick LeBeau may be the difference maker here. The team is praying that Thomas develops into a solid third corner, and we think he will.
It was announced that Marv Levy and Steve Tasker will team up to broadcast the team's two home preseason games on tape delay on WKBW. Tasker will do play by play, while Levy will be the analyst. Levy does some analyst work for Fox, while Tasker does analyst work for CBS. Our Take: This gives fans something nice to listen too during boring preseason games, two Bills legends. Tasker gets to get some needed play by play experience also.
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