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Bills lost Wake sweepstakes

When I was in Arizona the week of the NFC Championship in 2008, a reporter told me about a linebacker in town for a workout with the Cardinals after flying in from Buffalo, where he auditioned for the Bills.

Cameron Wake said his visit with the Bills went well, but he had other trips to make before deciding where he was going to sign.

Word is the Bills were among several teams that made an offer for Wake, who had torn up the CFL with 39 sacks in two years and twice winning the league's defensive player of the year award. However, he opted to take his talents to Miami, which signed him to a reported four-year, $4.9 million contract with a $1 million signing bonus.

The Bills can only wonder what might have been now as they have watched Wake become a premier pass rusher for the Dolphins. He leads the NFL with 14 sacks going into Sunday's game with the Bills and needs five more to break the franchise single-season record.

Wake is an amazing story. He went undrafted coming out of Penn State and no NFL team offered him an invitation to training camp after the Giants cut him in the spring. He went to work as a mortgage broker and fitness trainer for two years before getting a chance to play in the CFL for the British Columbia Lions.

Wake's first year in Miami was played behind Jason Taylor and Joey Porter. But Wake still had 5.5 sacks, with three of them coming against the Bills in a 38-10 Dolphins win.

The Dolphins wanted to get him on the field more, so they sent Taylor and Porter packing prior to this season. Needless to say, it was a gamble that paid off.

---Allen Wilson

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Bills | NFL
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