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Phase 2 Of Free Agency Starts Slowly

McCree Signs With Denver: Safety Marlon McCree made up his mind late yesterday and has decided to sign with the Denver Broncos. It was reportedly down to the Bills and Broncos for McCree's services. The Bills were looking for veteran leadership at a position that is still very young.

Saturday March 8, 2008

Broncos Want McCree: Reports out of rocky mountain country is the Broncos are trying to work out a deal to sign free agent safety Marlon McCree. The Bills hosted McCree earlier in the week before he went to Denver. At that time he had said he hoped to be under contract by Thursday or Friday stating it was down to the Bills and Broncos. No deal has been reached yet.

Friday March 7, 2008

Whittle Re-Signs: The Bills announced late this morning that they have re-signed one of their own unrestricted free agents. Jason Whittle signed a new deal with the team. The move adds depth to the offensive line and helps keep an important cog on special teams as he is the wedge captain when healthy. He missed most of the season last year with a torn hamstring but declared himself healthy. He said in an article last month that he expected to return to Buffalo. Depth Chart.

Bills Lose Out On Troupe: One of this week's visitors has signed with another team. TE Ben Troupe inked a multi year deal with the Tampa Bay Bucaneers. He was being looked at by the Bills to bolster a weak tight end corps. The free agent pickings at the position has dwindled at this point. The team hosted Courtney Anderson on Wednesday and may turn their attention towards him or wait until the draft to help that spot.

Thursday March 6, 2008

Anderson Likes Bills: Free agent TE Courtney Anderson said during his visit to One Bills Drive that he thinks the Bills are a great organization with a great coaching staff and a lot of great players. He has no other visits planned and would like to sign with the Bills. He says he has a great work ethic and would work hard to get the team over the hump.

Miller Honored: Congratulations to former Bills play by play man Van Miller. He will be inducted into the New York Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Miller was the play by play man for the Bills for most of their history before retiring three years ago.

Christie Retires As A Bill: Steve Christie was in town yesterday to sign a one day contract so he could retire as a Buffalo Bill. His NFL career ended four years ago his intention was to do it earlier but it didn't work out until now. It was important to him to retire as a Bill since he spent most of his career here and still owns a home close to the area.

Wednesday March 5, 2008

Saints Interested In Troupe: ESPN is reporting that the Bills and the Saints are the two main competitors vying for the services of Ben Troupe. He visited Buffalo yesterday and left without a contract. As we reported earlier, he enjoyed his visit to Buffalo and seems to think he would fit in well.

Bills, Anderson Still Negotiating: ESPN's John Clayton is reporting that the Bills are still negotiating to bring Bryant Johnson aboard. He is one of the top free agent wide receivers left on the market and has received some interest from Chicago, Washington, and Tampa Bay as well. He feels Buffalo is a perfect fit for him but it will most likely come down to money. With the ridiculous 6 year, $55M contract Jevon Walker got from the Raiders, Johnson's price probably went up. Not to mention the price of a new contract for Lee Evans.

Anderson Visits: The Bills have confirmed that TE Courtney Anderson is the latest free agent to visit One Bills drive. He is in town today. Anderson brings tremendous size to the table as he is 6'6" and 270lbs. He is a pass catching tight end that used to be a wide receiver. He is a former 7th round draft pick of the Raiders in 2004. He caught 49 passes combined in 2005 and 2006. He has bounced around since then seeing playing time last year for Detroit and Atlanta.

McCree Deciding This Week: Marlon McCree said he will make a decision as to where he'll play this year by Thursday or Friday. McCree enjoyed his visit yesterday and ruled out playing for Cincinnati where he previously visited. He thinks the fact that his first secondary coach Perry Fewell is the defensive coordinator gave Buffalo the edge over the Bengals. He will visit with the Broncos today before making his decision between the two teams and possibly the Panthers. McCree plays both safety spots but is looking to play strong safety. If that happens, the Bills would likely move Donte Whitner to free safety which would put Ko Simpson on the bench.

Troupe Looking To Put Past Behind Him: Ben Troupe had a breakout year in 2005 with the Titans and has the prototypical size and speed the team is looking for from a tight end. His production has drastically declined over the past two years. He missed 10 games in 2006 with a foot injury and was third on the depth chart last year as Vince Young developed chemistry with the other tight ends. Troupe jokingly thanked the Titans for saving him for his next team in his press conference with the Buffalo media during his visit. He says he doesn't need to be a focal point, he just wants to be utilized as a blocker as well as a receiver. He has also visited with Tampa Bay.

McIntyre Would Fill Two Roles: If Corey McIntyre comes to Buffalo he would fill a need at fullback and would add to the special teams unit as well. He was the captain of the Falcons unit last year. He considers himself a nasty, get down, dirty guy who love to hit. In other words, a prototypical fullback. He didn't get a chance to showcase those talents much in Atlanta but said the Bills are looking at him equally for offense and special teams. This was his first visit and he has no other visits planned at this point. He's a restricted free agent so the Falcons would have the chance to match any offer he gets. If they don't match an offer they get no compensation since he was an undrafted free agent.

Murphy Re-Signs: The Bills re-signed one of their own free agents yesterday by agreeing to a deal with Matt Murphy. The former tight end converted to tackle last year and will complete that conversion this offseason as he bulks up for the position.

Webster To Pats: The Bills lost a second player to New England as Jason Webster signed with the Patriots yesterday. Sam Aiken signed with them on Monday. It was believed that the Bills would try to re-sign Webster since they are now down three cornerbacks from last year's team depleting the depth chart at the position.

Tuesday March 4, 2008

Three Visit Today: The Bills have confirmed that three players are in town for visits today. As we previously reported, FS Marlon McCree, TE Ben Troupe, and FB Corey McIntyre are in town for a look. Troupe was a highly touted 2nd round draft pick coming out of college and had one very good year in Tennessee but his career derailed after missing 10 games in 2006 with a foot injury. He has had only 18 receptions the past two years. McIntyre is a true fullback who is also a special teams ace. McCree was recently released by the Chargers and the eight year veteran would bring depth to the safety position. He had 67 tackles and three interceptions in 16 starts last year.

No News Bad News? The Bills have not reached an agreement with free agent WR Bryant Johnson. There is no word on whether or not he left town without a contract or an offer. The Buffalo News say he's visiting Tampa Bay today. He also has a visit scheduled with Washington and Chicago is also reportedly interested in him. The wide receiver price tag has sky rocketed this free agency season which could hurt the Bills plan for signing Johnson and getting a new contract for Lee Evans.

Joe Goes To Tampa: LB Leon Joe has signed a one year deal with Tampa. He had two stints with the Bills last year and played sparingly for the team before getting injured late in the year.

Monday March 3, 2008

Bryant Johnson Wants To Be A Bill: Free agent WR Bryant Johnson is still in Buffalo but has no deal yet. He spoke with the Bills official website and said he likes the Bills and likes the facility and town. He is enjoying the tour and hopes to become a Buffalo Bill. He feels he has the size and the speed to stretch the field and can run good intermediate routes. He thinks he brings a lot to the table to help the team win. He calls this a potential fit as he can help on the outside and was with Bills' receiver coach Tyke Tolbert his rookie year in Arizona. This was his first visit and he has one scheduled with Washington.

Aiken Signs With Pats: If you can't beat them you might as well join them. That is what Sam Aiken did as he has reportedly signed an undisclosed contract with the New England Patriots. Aiken never made his mark as a receiver with the Bills but he is the first of maybe a long line of special teams stalwarths who is leaving this off season in free agency.

Johnson Visit: The Bills have now confirmed that free agent WR Bryant Johnson is in town for a visit in what Russ Brandon is calling phase two of free agency. The Bills shored up the defense in the opening three days and now have turned their attention to the offense. Along with Johnson rumored to be visiting are TE Ben Troupe, FB Corey McIntyre, and FS Marlon McCree.

Johnson Agreement? Several reports continue to say that the Bills have come to a tentative agreement with free agent WR Bryant Johnson. There is no confirmation that this deal is done however. Johnson is a former number one pick who has been caught behind Aquain Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald on the Cardinals depth chart. From the three spot at receiver he has consistently averaged over 40 catches a season in his four year career. Russ Brandon was on WGR radio this morning and said they are on phase two of free agency now and they are taking a look at Johnson but he has not been in the building as of yesterday and no deal has been made yet.

McIntyre Visit: The Buffalo News is reporting that Falcons restricted free agent fullback Corey McIntyre is due in town for a visit today. McIntyre was the special teams captain for Atlanta last year. He is a three year veteran who has also played for Cleveland and New Orleans. He has never carried the ball and has one recpetion in his career. He could be looked at to shore up a special teams unit that is expected to take significant hits in free agency, although none of those players have yet to sign elsewhere.

Gaines Gone: The Bills took their first hit in the free agent market late last night. Michael Gaines has signed a reported 4 year, $10 Million deal with the Detroit Lions and it includes $3 Million in guaranteed money. The Lions hope he can be a 40 catch guy. The Bills were hoping to re-sign Gaines and have a huge hole at the position. Free agent Ben Troupe is expected in town today for a visit.

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