Category Archives: Buffalo Bills News

Bills, WR Andre Holmes said that although the NFLPA record did not trade

A three-year, $4.5 million contract between wide receiver Andre Holmes and the Buffalo Bills was filed Wednesday with the NFL Players Association, documents obtained by ESPN showed.

Despite the deal appearing along with other completed contracts in NFLPA records, a Bills spokesperson said Wednesday there has been no deal signed between the two sides. Holmes also tweeted Wednesday afternoon that he had not signed with any team.

An NFLPA spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ESPN.

If signed, Holmes would become the highest-profile free-agent addition to the Bills’ thin receiving corps. The Bills have lost receivers Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin as free agents this month.

Holmes’ deal would include $2.425 million in guaranteed money, documents showed. Holmes would be paid salaries of $925,000 in 2017, $950,000 in 2018 and $975,000 in 2019.

He will receive a $1.5 million signing bonus and workout bonuses of $50,000 each season. His 2017 salary is fully guaranteed. He can earn up to $750,000 in incentives each season and has base salary escalators based on playing time.

Holmes, 28, played the role of a third or fourth receiver, along with Seth Roberts, behind Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree last season for the Raiders. But he also is a big target in the red zone at 6 feet 4, 210 pounds, and he made a name for himself as a special teams ace alongside Taiwan Jones.

Holmes had nine special teams tackles, which ranked third on the team, and recovered a fumble on a muffed punt at Jacksonville in Week 7. He also led the Raiders with 50 receiving yards on four catches, including a touchdown, in Oakland’s playoff loss at Houston.

His production has faded as the Raiders have improved, going from 47 catches for 693 yards and four touchdowns for a 3-13 team in 2014 to 14 catches for 201 yards and three touchdowns for a 7-9 team in 2015 to 14 catches for 126 yards and three touchdowns for a 12-4 playoff team last season.

Holmes, who had a base salary of $2 million in 2016, originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Hillsdale College with the Vikings in 2011.

Bills owner Terry Pegula fired Rex Ryan when asked about future

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula decided to fire Rex Ryan when the coach asked about his future beyond this season after a weekly conference call last Tuesday.

“I was asked a point-blank question, and based on the discussions we’ve been having all year, I felt it was better to tell Rex we were going in a different direction,” Pegula told The Associated Press in an interview Monday.

In his season-ending news conference Monday, Bills general manager Doug Whaley denied having any involvement in Ryan’s firing last week, insisting he was not aware of why Ryan was fired.

“We just finished our weekly phone conversation with Terry, myself and Rex,” Whaley said of Ryan’s firing last Tuesday. “Rex asked to speak to [Pegula] privately. After that, I was informed that Rex would no longer be our coach. I wasn’t privy to the conversation so I cannot get into those details.

“I look at it this way: I’m the GM of the football operation. I was told by my boss that I would no longer be working with a certain person. My role is not to figure out why. My role is to take that information and go forward and put this organization in the best possible way to win football games. So for me, I did not ask.”

Pegula told the AP that Whaley had input throughout the season on the Bills’ problems but never had a conversation with ownership about whether Ryan would be fired.

The Bills’ owner also disputed any idea of dysfunction within the organization, saying everybody was “on the same page. We’re busy busting our asses.”

Pegula has not answered questions from local reporters since Ryan’s introductory news conference in January 2015. He issued a five-sentence statement when Ryan was fired, wishing Ryan well and expressing disappointment in a season that ended Sunday with a 7-9 record.

Whaley, however, said Monday he “speak[s] for the ownership and the team president” in holding his NFL-mandated season-ending news conference.

Asked how he can speak for ownership about Ryan’s firing if he did not know why Ryan was fired by ownership, Whaley said, “I can’t give you the particulars of what happened in that conversation; I can just tell you that I was informed that he was not going to be our coach going forward.”

Both Ryan and Whaley reported directly to Pegula under the Bills’ organizational structure last season. Whaley said he does not know if that structure will remain in place when the Bills hire their next coach.

The Bills announced last week that Whaley, who will enter his fifth season as Bills general manager in 2017, will lead the team’s coaching search. Whaley was assistant general manager in 2013 when the Bills hired Doug Marrone, and Whaley said Monday he was part of a “committee approach” when Ryan was hired in 2015.

“This one will fall squarely on my shoulders, with the help of [player personnel director] Jim Monos,” he said. “So we’re going to approach it that way and I have full confidence in myself and the plan that we have in place that we’re going to go out and get the best guy for the Buffalo Bills.”

Despite leading the search, Whaley said the Pegulas will have final say over who becomes the Bills’ next coach. Team president Russ Brandon will not be involved, a decision Whaley attributed to Brandon’s “expanding role” with the Pegulas’ other businesses.

Whaley disagreed with speculation that he did not cooperate well with Ryan or Marrone during their tenures as Bills coaches. He also brushed off the idea that him remaining as general manager will deter candidates who would want final say over the Bills’ roster.

“I have full confidence in my reputation in the league circles,” Whaley said. “Not, obviously, in media circles, but in league circles, that would not be prohibitive.”

The Bills have requested permission to interview Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin and Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, sources told ESPN.

Interim coach Anthony Lynn will interview with the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers, sources said, and is expected to keep his options open outside of Buffalo.

Rex Ryan doesn’t ‘know anything’ about report he could be fired soon

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan said after Sunday’s 27-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers that he did “not know anything about” a CBS Sports report before the game that he could be fired as soon as Monday.

“Guys, I’ll promise you one thing: This is the first I’ve heard of it,” he said at his postgame news conference. “I never knew about [the report] until you guys just said something, so that will tell you how true it is.”

The Buffalo News also reported that Ryan could be fired before the end of the season.

The Bills allowed 460 total yards to the Steelers, including 298 yards from scrimmage by running back Le’Veon Bell. The loss dropped the Bills’ record this season to 6-7. In 29 games with Buffalo, Ryan has a 14-15 record and risks becoming only the fourth coach since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to miss the postseason in six consecutive seasons.

Although Ryan’s defense struggled Sunday, the defeat also raised further questions about the future of quarterback Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo. Taylor went 15-of-25 passing for 228 yards, two touchdowns and one interception but was limited to 46 passing yards in the first half.

Ryan was noncommittal after the loss about Taylor remaining the starter for the Bills’ final three games.

“We’ll see,” Ryan said. “I don’t have any idea, guys. … I’ll do whatever I think’s best for the team.”

As part of a contract extension signed in August, the Bills must guarantee Taylor about $30 million if he remains on the roster by the fourth day of the 2017 league year, which begins in March. Rookie fourth-round pick Cardale Jones is the most likely option to replace Taylor if Ryan makes a quarterback change, although Ryan said Sunday that there has been “no movement” from the front office to let Jones see action.

Ryan also said that his relationship with fourth-year general manager Doug Whaley is “just fine,” adding, “We’re all in this thing together.”

Taylor was brief in answering questions about Ryan’s “we’ll see” comment, saying, “that’s [Ryan's] decision” if the Bills turn away from Taylor as soon as next Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

As for the CBS Sports report about Ryan’s future, Taylor responded, “I definitely don’t know about that. Those decisions don’t come from me. Definitely bigger, that comes from the top. Definitely don’t want to hear news like that — like I said it’s my first time hearing it.”

Running back LeSean McCoy, who was limited to 27 rushing yards on 12 carries Sunday, defended his coach.

“I haven’t heard that,” McCoy said of the report. “I love my coach. I am happy he brought me here. So I am totally behind him. It is a business and things happen, and I learned that the hard way [in 2015 trade from Philadelphia]. So I understand how that works, but I am totally behind him.”

McCoy also stood behind Taylor.

“That is above my pay grade,” he said. “I don’t know how that is working out. I love my quarterback. I think he is a hell of a player, a good leader, an amazing athlete. However, [the front office working] that out is what they do.”

Elite Marcell Dareus Jersey

PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Coach Rex Ryan was back to making predictions Wednesday, declaring that his Buffalo Bills defense will be better in 2016 despite key injuries to rookies Shaq Lawson (shoulder) and Reggie Ragland (knee), as well as Tuesday’s four-game suspension of star defensive tackle Marcell Dareus(Marcell Dareus Jersey).

“I see the big picture. I also see this defense is improving,” Ryan said. “I’ve said it from Day 1: we’re going to be better. We will definitely be better than we were last year, in my opinion. Regardless of those [injuries and suspension], this defense will be better.”

The Bills finished 19th in yards allowed last season, which was Ryan’s first year as Bills’ coach. The team had the NFL’s fourth-ranked defense in 2014 and Ryan predicted upon taking the job that his unit would be the NFL’s best in 2015.

Dareus was suspended for the first four games of the regular season for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The sixth-year defensive tackle and two-time Pro Bowler said Wednesday that he missed a drug test.

“I really don’t have much to say,” Dareus said. “Words really doesn’t mean anything now. It’s all action. That’s all I’m going to do. I’m going to come back and do the best I can. I just apologize to my team and my family. I embarrassed my kids, and who I am and who I’m working to be.”

The Bills rebuked Dareus, who was also suspended for the first game of last season following a marijuana arrest, in a statement Tuesday, saying he “put himself first” and let down the team.

“I’m frustrated and disappointed,” Ryan added Wednesday. “As is everybody in this organization. Every teammate from top to bottom. And I’m sure our fans are feeling the same way. We all know the sort of player Marcell is — and he’s a good person too — but he’s got to make better choices, better decisions, and understand that it affects the whole football team and not just himself.”

Dareus said he learned of the suspension following last Saturday’s preseason-opening loss to the Indianapolis Colts, while Ryan said he found out at “the same time [you reporters] learned.”

In addition to Dareus’ suspension, The Buffalo News reported Tuesday that outside linebacker Manny Lawson faces a possible one-game suspension for an unspecified domestic violence incident.

Lawson adamantly denied the report Wednesday, saying his girlfriend texted him about it Tuesday and that Lawson immediately contacted the NFL to inquire about the report. He said Wednesday that he that has yet to hear back from the league.

“I honestly do not know what is happening or where that came from, but we’re looking to get into the bottom of it,” Lawson said. “I wish I knew [where it came from]. I don’t know where and how or why that would come up about me, but we’re going to look into it.”

Ryan also was surprised about the report regarding Lawson.

“I never even heard about it [Tuesday]. I saw it in the [newspaper] today,” Ryan said. “I was like, ‘When did this happen?’ So I never even knew about it last night or whenever it came out. So I can tell you this: I don’t know anything about it.”