Buffalo left tackle Demetrius Bell visited the Steelers yesterday. The 6 – 5, 311 pound free agent is looking for a new team. Green Bay and Arizona are also reportedly interested. Bell is expected to spend the weekend in Philadelphia. The Eagles can use his services now that Jason Peters, who formerly played for the Bills, is out indefinitely with a torn Achilles tendon.
Archive for March, 2012
The Bills are hosting Clemson defensive end Andre Branch today. He is considered a first-round prospect in the upcoming draft. The 6 – 4, 259 pound Branch had 25 tackles and 16 sacks in his college career. He would join the recently signed Mario Williams and Mark Anderson in providing much needed pass rush. Buffalo coach Chan Gailey and general manager Buddy Nix have a southern strategy in rebuilding the team. They have taken Clemson players, C J Spiller and Chris Hairston, in each of the 2 most recent drafts.
The Bills rule change proposal failed to pass this morning at the NFL owners meeting. The proposal would have moved play reviews up to the booth and out of the hands of field referees. The proposal had merit and unfortunately did not prevail. In other business, the owners voted to extend postseason overtime rules to the regular season. They also approved a measure requiring all turnovers to be reviewed, as is the case with scoring plays.
The Bills have gained a compensatory pick in the upcoming NFL draft. They received an extra selection in the seventh round. It will be the 251st pick overall, which is the third to last pick in the entire draft. While that may seem inconsequential, there have been some big impact seventh round picks. Both Stevie Johnson and Demetrius Bell were taken in the seventh round. Most notably, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was a seventh round selection. The added bonus gives Buffalo more choice in the draft, to be held in April in New York City.
The Bills have proposed a rule change at the spring NFL owners meeting in Palm Beach which opens today. They want the booth official to make all decisions on replay reviews instead of the referees. The change is likely to generate considerable debate. The Steelers have proposed extending the postseason overtime rule, which guarantees each team one possession, for use during the regular season. Also under consideration is a proposal to expand the roster at training camp to 90 players.
Buffalo native Rob Gronkowski has advanced to the next round of the Madden 13 vote. The star New England tight end now competes with teammate Brandon Lloyd for the right to move to the Sweet 16. The Gronk has had a busy off season, recuperating from ankle surgery. He recently made a highly publicized spring break junket to Aruba, Miami, South Padre Island and Los Angeles. The Gronk has emerged as Western New York’s most famous NFL native son. He combines dedication on and off the field with a zest for living.
The Bills have re-signed running back Tashard Choice. The free agent played 6 games for Buffalo last year after being claimed off waivers from Washington. He had 23 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown in addition to 7 receptions for 51 yards. Drafted by the Cowboys in the fourth round in 2008, the 5 – 10, 212 pound Choice has 1,216 career yards and 9 touchdowns. He will play backup to Fred Jackson and C J Spiller along with Johnny White.
Former Bills great Thurman Thomas says he is not running for Congress. He responded to published reports that he is being courted by Erie County Republicans to run against Democratic incumbent Brian Higgins. Thomas is no stranger to local politics, having endorsed Carl Paladino for governor in 2010. The 4 time Pro Bowler was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2007.
The Bills have signed defensive end Mark Anderson. The 4 year contract is reportedly worth $27 million with $8 million guaranteed. The 6 year veteran had 10 sacks with the Patriots in 2011. The deal follows last weeks $100 million pact with Mario Williams. Buffalo is going all out to revive its moribund pass rush. Last season the defense had 29 sacks, ending in a 4 way tie for 27th in the league. The squad allowed 434 points, 30th overall, and 5,938 yards, 26th in the NFL. The Bills have also re-signed safety Bryan Scott. He has played 6 years with the team and had one sack, 2 interceptions, and a recovered fumble for a touchdown in 2011.
The Bills are hosting New England defensive end Mark Anderson today. The free agent would provide much needed pass rush. He would play left end, with recently signed Mario Williams on the right end. Anderson had 10 sacks with the Patriots last year. Drafted by Chicago in 2006, he had 12 sacks his rookie season. Miami and Tennessee are also interested in his services.