Bills Let Nelson Go
Nelson Not Being Tendered: David Nelson confirmed via his twitter account that his agent has ben informed by the Bills that they will not tender him and he will become an unrestricted free agent. Buddy Nix than confirmed it as well in a statement released this afternoon. Jason Cole of Yahoo sports was the first to report this and Adam Schefter also reported it this morning. The team earlier decided not to tender Donald Jones meaning a complete overhaul at wide receiver behind Stevie Johnson and T.J. Graham is underway. Front Office Page.
Whaley Extended: The Bills announced last night that they have extended the contract of Assistant GM/Director of Player Personnel Doug Whaley. GM Buddy Nix said, "I am happy that we have secured Doug's services into the future and look forward to a smooth transition of the position when the time comes." Russ Brandon added, "We are very pleased with the structure of our football operation and look forward to working with Buddy, Doug and the entire staff for many years to come, said Brandon. As we have stated previously, there is no timetable for the transition. Our focus continues to be on building the foundation for a winning program." This move keeps Whaley with the Bills as he is considered a rising star in the NFL front office. He will wait for Nix to retire and then become the GM.
Saturday February 23, 2013
Nelson Gone? David Nelson is the one restricted free agent that the Bills still have to decide what to do with. Jason Cole of Yahoo sports tweeted that the Bills have decided not to tender him. If this is true it is a bit of a surprise given the lack of depth at the receiver position. Nelson was a pretty big part of the offense before tearing his ACL on opening day last year. It could be another case of the new regime moving on from players that played under Chan Gailey. The Bills already announced they would not tender Donald Jones so he will be an unrestricted free agent when the signing period begins on March 12th.
Playbook 80% Done: Doug Marrone met with the media yesterday in Indianapolis and wouldn't elaborate on any of the players. He said he has evaluated them on tape but you can't finish evaluation until you can see the players face to face on April 2nd when the offseason program begins. The coach said the playbook is about 80% installed. He has spoke to may members of the NFL fraternity at the combine who have tried to get info from him on the Syracuse players coming out this year. He said he has not been forthcoming with information. Marrone has sat in on the 60 player interviews that they have done but he did not speak when the talked to Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib since he knows him so well. If he asked him a question he would know what the answer is and would likely laugh. He said he would not comment on his conversations with Tavaris Jackson and Ryan Fitzpatrick but that they both were fine with the upcoming open competition.
Offseason Dates Announced: The Bills announced all the dates for the offseason program yesterday. We have placed all the dates on the right side of our homepage. The offseason conditioning program begins on April 2nd and that is when Doug Marrone will finally get to meet his players face to face. Since they have a new coach they are allowed to have an extra voluntary veteran minicamp. That will happen from April 16th through the 18th before the NFL draft. The organized team activiities will take place starting May 13th with the team getting together for the voluntary workouts three days a week over a three week period. The mandatory minicamp for the full team is June 11th through 13th.
Friday February 22, 2013
Fitz's Future: Russ Brandon and Buddy Nix were peppered with many questions as they met with reporters at the scouting combine in Indianapolis yesterday. The big question was the future of Ryan Fitzpatrick and it appeared both men left the door open to parting ways with this year's starting quarterback. Nix said they will still try to draft a quarterback and said if there is any change in Fitzpatrick's role with the team he will be the first to know. Brandon would only say that Fitzpatrick is currently on the roster and that they have not approached him about restructuring his deal at this point.
Free Agents Update: Russ Brandon confirmed that he and Jim Overdorf will meet with the agents for all of the team's unrestricted free agents that they would like to re-sign while in Indianapolis. Buddy Nix said there are three big free agents they would like to re-sign and they are Jairus Byrd, Andy Levitre, and somewhat surprisingly Leodis McKelvin. He was an outstanding returner but struggled at corner. Nix feels he is one of their starting corners if they can re-sign him. Nix and Brandon both said the franchise and/or the transition tags are options but they do come with salary cap ramifications if they are used. Nix said they have enough money under the salary cap to sign many of their own free agents, their draft class, and a few other free agents. Don't expect any deal's to get done at the combine but the framework for deals can get made there. That is what happened last year with Stevie Johnson.
Lease Deal Approval: The new 10 year lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium cleared another hurdle yesterday. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in a press release that the Empire State Development board of directors approved the $130 Million in renovations at the stadium. This came after The Erie County Stadium Corporation recommneded the approval. The Governor said, "The state remains committed to keeping the Bills in Buffalo. The approvals mark further progress in finalizing the agreement that we reached last year, so that this iconic team stays in the community a victory for fans and the Western New York economy." The final approval will be from the NFL owners which is expected to happen at the owners meeting next month.
Thursday February 21, 2013
Nix On WGR: Buddy Nix appeared on WGR this morning from the scouting combine in Indianapolis. He said they will talk to all the top quarterbacks at either the combine or bring them to Buffalo for a talk, or meet them at their place. On free agency, he said they do have money on the cap and will be involved but they may not make a big splash on the first day or two. He said the franchise and/or the transition tags are an option regarding Jairus Byrd and Andy Levitre. He did say they wouldn't make a decision until right before the deadline on March 4th and they hope to work out a long term deal with Byrd. Nix said they like to keep all their own talent but there does come a time when that isn't always possible. On the relased Jets he said the media likes to connect the dots since Mike Pettine is now in Buffalo and they will look at every option but Pettine doesn't get involved in personnel decisions.
Wednesday February 20, 2013
Jackson Contract Details: There have been a lot of numbers floating around about the contract Tavaris Jackson signed with the Bills last week. It is a one year deal and profootballtalk.com says it has a base salary of $1.75 Million with a signing bonus of $150,000 that has already been paid. He has incentives that could earn him up to another $2.25 Million. He will earn $500,000 if he takes 50% of the snaps this season, another $750,000 if he takes 60% of the snaps, and another million if he is under center for 65& of the snaps. So if he's the starting quarterback for most of the year he can earn $5.5 Million. If he doesn't make the team it just costs them the $500,000 signing bonus. Front Office Page.
Tuesday February 19, 2013
Brown Re-Signed: The Bills have re-signed restricted free agent Colin Brown to a multi-year deal, terms were not disclosed. Brown is a veteran backup at guard and center and had his 2012 season cut short after tearing his hamstring in week 5. He was placed on injured reserve. The team has already decided to part ways with Donald Jones leaving David Nelson as the lone restricted player to be dealt with.
Report Of Byrd Contract Talks: The two week period to designate players with the franchise or transition tag began yesterday. It seems to be a no brainer that the Bills will use the tag on Jairus Byrd. That is if they can't re-sign him to a long term deal before then. The Associated Press is reporting that the two sides will hold contract talks during the combine which begins tomorrow. The source told AP that no talks have been held so far and that the team hasn't discussed using the franchise tag at this point. Tagging him would not be a problem with the bottom line since a franchise tag on a safety will cost them between $5.89 million and $6.79 million for the 2013 season.
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