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Pryce is right for Jets

The Jets added another defender for the Bills to worry about on Sunday, signing veteran defensive end Trevor Pryce off waivers Thursday.

Pryce was released Wednesday by the Baltimore Ravens, who reportedly wanted to bring him back. But the Jets beat them to the punch. Jets coach Rex Ryan is quite familiar with Pryce, who part of the Ravens defense once coordinated by Ryan.

Pryce knows the defense, so it's no surprise Ryan plans to play him on Sunday in passing situations.

"We saw it as an opportunity - a window, maybe," Ryan told the Jets media Thursday. "As soon as we saw that they released him, we, of course, got a little excited about it. At first, I was like, 'There's no way he was released.'"

Jets linebacker and former Raven Bart Scott couldn't believe it either, but added other Ravens players wouldn't mind following Pryce to play for Ryan.

"I guarantee you that there's probably guys in the same spot right now jealous as hell," the always colorful Scott said. "Trevor probably gets texts like, 'Man, come get me too.' I guarantee you there's at least 15 other players over there that's praying to God that they get released for a half a day, too, so they can come over here. They won't admit it. But I guarantee you."

Ryan is hoping Pryce can help the Jets' pass rush, which has been hit-and-miss through three games. Pryce led the Ravens with 6.5 sacks last season and his 90 career sacks rank third among active NFL players.

The question is whether the 35-year-old pass rusher has anything left.

"He's got more juice than Tropicana,'' Scott said.

---Allen Wilson

 

Position change for Moats

When the Bills drafted Ryan Moats in the sixth round back in April, they projected him as an inside linebacker even though he played defensive end at James Madison. Six months later, the Bills apparently have changed their mind.

Moats is practicing at outside linebacker this week, and has a chance to possibly get some snaps in a game in the near future. It was a curious move by the Bills to put him at inside linebacker because most defensive ends transition easier to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense because they are used to playing in space.

Bills coach Chan Gailey basically said outside linebacker is a more natural position for Moats.

"He’s a little more comfortable coming off the edge than he was playing inside,'' Gailey said after Thursday's practice. "So we’re going to give him an opportunity to see what he can do out there.''

This move could also be based on Gailey's dissatisfaction with the Bills' pass rush. Moats excelled in that area at James Madison, where he led the Football Championship Series (Division I-AA) with 23.5 tackles for losses and was fourth in sacks with 11 en route to winning the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in FCS.

"I'm use to rushing the passer, so playing outside linebacker is good fit for me,'' Moats said. "It's going to take some time learning different techniques and responsbilities, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.''

 ---Allen Wilson

Jets injury update

Jets All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis made it official by saying Thursday that he won't play against the Bills on Sunday. Revis hasn't practiced since injuring his hamstring in the first half of the Jets' 28-14 win over the Patriots two weeks ago. He told New York reporters that he is feeling better, but won't get back on the field until he's 100 percent.

"As bad as we want him to play, we want him to play the whole season," said Jets coach Rex Ryan.

Revis held out all of training camp seeking a new contract. While he might have reported in good shape, it was probably a mistake playing him so much in the first two games. His should have been limited until he was in complete football shape. Not doubt the strained hamstring due to muscle fatigue from being overworked.

Ryan said his optimistism that outside linebacker Calvin Pace would return Sunday has diminished after Pace didn't participate in practice Thursday. Ryan hasn't ruled Pace out yet, but don't expect to see him on Sunday. Pace, the Jets' best pass rusher, hasn't played since having surgery after breaking a foot in the third preseason game.

Meanwhile, outside linebacker Calvin Pace (foot) wasn't able to practice Thursday and probably won't play Sunday either. Pace, the Jets' best pass rusher, has not play this season since getting injured in the preseason.

Also expected to be out are outside linebacker and special teamer Jamaal Westerman (ankle) and offensive tackle Wayne Hunter (shin). Right tackle Damien Woody missed practice for the second straight day for personal reasons, but is expected back Friday. Center Nick Mangold (shoulder) and outside linebacker Jason Taylor (elbow) were limited, but should play Sunday.

---Allen Wilson

Stroud, Davis out

The Bills' defense will be without at least two starters, and possibly a third, on Sunday against the New York Jets.

Bills coach Chan Gailey declared defensive end Marcus Stroud out with a left ankle injury and a shoulder ailment will sideline inside linebacker Andra Davis. Both players were hurt in last Sunday's loss at New England and haven't practiced this week.

Cornerback Terrence McGee was added to the injury report after not practicing Thursday. Gailey said McGee has some residual soreness from offseason knee surgery. Gailey is holding out hope McGee will be able to play on Sunday.

"We’ll see if he can make it [to Friday's practice] and we’ll see where we are then,” Gailey said.

Losing Stroud and Davis would be a blow to a defense about to face one of the best rushing offenses in the NFL. The Jets gashed the Bills for 567 yards in two games last season. Spencer Johnson is expected to get the start in Stroud's spot, while Davis will be replaced by Akin Ayodele. Stroud's absence also opens the door for rookie defensive Alex Carrington to be active for the first time. The Bills drafted him in the third round.

McGee's potential absence would be minimized by the fact cornerback is one of the Bills' deepest positions. Look for Leodis McKelvin to start opposite Drayton Florence if McGee can't go, with Reggie Corner taking McKelvin's spot in the nickel defense.

There was some good news on the injury front. Inside linebacker Paul Posluszny (knee) practiced fully and is ready to return to the starting lineup after missing two games. He'll fill Davis' role as the defensive play caller. Also tight end Jonathan Stupar (foot) was limited in practice Thursday, but Gailey said Stupar looked good. It looks like Stupar will be ready for Sunday.

---Allen Wilson 

Votes on the NFL's Top 100

The NFL Network is running a series titled "The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players." The next installment airs tonight, and the series runs every Thursday at 9 p.m., with 10 players revealed on each show. I was among the big group of panelists who got a ballot from the network. The panel included players, historians, scouts, executives and writers. The ballot included 261 players, and they asked us to assign the players a point value from 10 down to 1, with 10 being the most worthy and 1 being unworthy. I ranked the players roughly into groups of 20, with the 10s, 9s, 8s, 7s and 6s forming a top 100. Here were my groupings, and the players are listed within the group in no particular order.

Players getting 10 points: Jim Brown, Otto Graham, Sammy Baugh, Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, Walter Payton, Marion Motley, Don Hutson, Jerry Rice, John Hannah, Anthony Munoz, Deacon Jones, Bob Lilly, Joe Greene, Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White, Night Train Lane, Bruce Smith, Barry Sanders.

Players getting 9 points: Dick Butkus, Gino Marchetti, John Elway, Ray Nitschke, Ronnie Lott, Jim Parker, O.J. Simpson, Merlin Olsen, Roger Staubach, Bronko Nagurski, Ray Lewis, Forrest Gregg, Lance Alworth, Jack Lambert, Emmitt Smith, Peyton Manning, Rod Woodson.

Players getting 8 points: Mike Haynes, Lenny Moore, Marshall Faulk, Willie Brown, Sid Luckman, Brett Favre, Deion Sanders, Terry Bradshaw, Bart Starr, Eric Dickerson, Tom Brady, Ray Berry, Randy Moss, Mike Webster, Gale Sayers, LaDainian Tomlinson.

Players getting 7 points: Steve Young, Ken Houston, Larry Wilson, Gene Upshaw, Tony Dorsett, Ted Hendricks, Willie Lanier, Jack Ham, Mel Hein, Rosey Brown, Alan Page, Jimmy Johnson, Dan Marino, Bill George, Earl Campbell, Joe Perry.

Players getting 6 points: Bobby Layne, Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Marcus Allen, Steve Van Buren, Randy White, Tony Gonzalez, Kellen Winslow, Mike Ditka, John Mackey, Bobby Bell, Buck Buchanan, Joe Schmidt, Mike Singletary, Emlen Tunnell, Sam Huff, Red Grange, Larry Little, Art Shell, Elroy Hirsch, Herb Adderley, Jim Otto, Darrell Green.

---Mark Gaughan

 

Kelsay's contract

The value of Chris Kelsay’s new contract is $20 million over four years, for an average of $5 million a year, according to figures obtained by The News. On top of that, the deal includes incentives of $4 million - $1 million in each year of the deal, 2011 to 2014. So the maximum value is $24 million. We don’t know how he would qualify for those incentives. The presumption is they’re tied to playing time, and the bar is not extremely high to achieve them. Kelsay essentially gets a $2.4 million signing bonus. That includes a $400,000 increase in his base salary this year and a $2 million bonus paid out this week. (It’s counted as an option bonus, not an amortized bonus, for students of the salary cap.) Kelsay gets a base salary of $2 million in 2011, which is guaranteed. He also gets a $2 million reporting bonus in 2011.

Bottom line: It’s a good deal for Kelsay, because he gets more financial security and more money in his pocket right away. It’s not an exorbitant deal for the Bills. Theoretically - and that's the operative term here - it really should not preclude the Bills from any future spending on renegotiations or free-agent acquisitions. Kelsay’s base salaries are $3.5 million in 2012, $3.7 million in 2013 and $3.7 million in 2014. As with any standard player contract, those aren’t guaranteed. He gets roster bonuses of $750,000 each of those three years.

---Mark Gaughan

Stroud probably out

Defensive end Marcus Stroud had his left foot in a boot on Wednesday and is not looking promising to play Sunday vs. the New York Jets. Bills coach Chan Gailey said he thinks Stroud is the only player who may miss the game due to injury. Gailey expects linebacker Paul Posluszny, out the past two weeks, to play. Posluszny was practicing on Wednesday. Tight end Jonathan Stupar did not appear to be practicing, but he's expected to be ready. The injury report will be out about 4 p.m.

Meanwhile, linebacker Kawika Mitchell was in the locker room. Mitchell is on injured reserve with a foot injury suffered in preseason. Mitchell said it was a Lisfranc sprain. That's a dislocation of one of the small joints of the midfoot. The injury got its name from a doctor who diagnosed the condition, which usually occurred when a soldier fell from his horse, but his foot did not release from the stirrup. Mitchell said he would be out about 12 weeks, or perhaps longer.

Said Mitchell: "Somebody stepped on the outside of my foot and it just flexed the Lisfranc joint on the inside. Instantly I knew something was wrong with it."

Elsewhere: Lee Evans on the offense looking more confident with Ryan Fitzpatrick: "He helped. He made a lot of plays in the pocket, outside of the pocket, just giving guys chances. He got rid of the ball got the ball out of his hand. He made the offense a lot better, with some of the things he did. He brings his own type of savvy to it."

Asked about the team being decisive in making changes to try to get the team turned around, Evans said: "They have a plan and they want to implement it. For some people it works and for some people it doesn’t. But they have a plan and they want to move forward, so you’ve got to respect that."

Sunday's game is sold out. The Bills will be wearing their throwback uniforms.

---Mark Gaughan

Kelsay's deal is done

Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Chris Kelsay confirmed today he signed a contract extension with the team on Tuesday.

Kelsay was in the final year of his contract with the Bills. The extension runs for four years and is believed to be worth about $24 million. The deal is very similar to his current deal, which avearged $5.75 million a year and was signed prior to the 2007 season.

"There’s no question about it, I’m thrilled," said Kelsay. "I want to end my career here, and this gives me an opportunity to do that. Obviously it still comes down to production and putting it out on the field. But it’s a step I was willing to take, and they were willing to take, more than that."

Kelsay is eighth season with the Bills and turns 31 on Oct. 31. The deal represents a big endorsement of Kelsay from the team's new regime of General Manager Buddy Nix and coach Chan Gailey.

"Obviously they thought highly enough to make an offer to me and I feel very honored that they did so," Kelsay said. "Any time you get offered an extension and you come to terms and both sides work hard on it, it’s gratifying. At the same time it happened in the season, it’s not my focus, it never was my focus. I told Buddy when he got hired, ‘I’m not looking beyond this year. I want to do all I can to help us win this year.’ It was nice to get it done so we can move forward and I don’t have to think about it anymore.”

The Bills see Kelsay stout outside backer with versatility in pass coverage. He's not a big sacker. He has 22 sacks the past six seasons, including five in 2009. The move gives the Bills a bit more long-term security at outside linebacker. The jury remains out on the team's younger outside linebackers, Aaron Maybin, Chris Ellis, Antonio Coleman and Danny Batten (who is on injured reserve). Veteran Reggie Torbor was added in May and is signed through 2011.

---Mark Gaughan

 

Schobel, Texans can't reach agreement

Former Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel worked out for the Houston Texans but the two sides could not come to a deal, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday.

"The bottom line is we couldn't come to an agreement,"Schobel told the paper. "It's late, and I'm not in the best of shape. It would have taken me another week or two to get into [playing] shape."

Schobel, who ranks second on the Bills' all-time sacks list with 78, retired Aug. 16 after the Bills told him he wasn't in their 2010 plans. He waffled on signing with Houston before retiring.

 "I appreciate the opportunity, but it's just not meant to be," Schobel told the Chronicle regarding his workout. "I'm retired and proud of my career. ... Part of me wishes it would have worked out. It's just not going to happen."

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Edwards claimed by Jacksonville

Former Bills quarterback Trent Edwards will be taking his talents to northern Florida.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Jacksonville Jaguars have put in a waiver claim on Edwards, who was released Monday by the Bills.

Jacksonville is a logical landing spot for Edwards. The Jags' starter, David Garrard, was benched in Week Two after throwing four interceptions in San Diego. He wasn't any better Sunday against Philadelphia, going 13 of 30 for 105 yards. He was sacked six times and had a passer rating of 38.9.

The Jaguars' lost backup quarterback Luke McCown in the loss at San Diego to a torn ACL, and had Todd Bouman as Garrard's backup. Jacksonville also added quarterback Keith Null to its practice squad Tuesday.

How's this for an interesting twist? Edwards and the Jaguars are on the road Oct. 10 ... at Ralph Wilson Stadium against the Buffalo Bills.

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

 

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