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Keeping his options open

Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel isn't coming out and saying he's retired because he doesn't want to close the door on a return. Being non-commital is the right tactic if he gets the itch to play again, as doubtful as that is, late this summer. He did say if the Bills called and said they need him that he would consider coming back.

Schobel wanted a deal where he could show up just before the regular season, like Brett Favre did in Minnesota last season and the New York Jets the year before that. This way, Schobel he could spend time with his three young kids, who he relocated permanently in Texas.
But it is believed the Bills balked at the behest of head coach Chan Gailey. With Gailey, you're either all in or all out. In his mind, Schobel's absence meant he's out.

The Bills are going to a 3-4 defense and Schobel could use some work at outside linebacker, his new position if he played. Schobel has never been thrilled with attending offseason practices or training camp. Bruce Smith was the same way, but he always showed up to play. Schobel is no Hall of Famer like Smith, but he gave it all he had on Sundays throughout his nine-year career. It will be interesting to see how the Bills' pass rush is affected by his absence. 

It would be a big surprise if Schobel suited up for the Bills again. But stay tuned until September.

---Allen Wilson 


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