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Sanders visiting Bills

The Bills are entertaining former Indianapolis Colts star safety Bob Sanders today. He was released by the Colts last Friday. The Bills are the second visit on his free agent tour. He met with the Jacksonville Jaguars Monday.

Signing Sanders would be an interesting move and is a sign the Bills are ready to move on from free agent Donte Whitner. He wants a new contract that ranks among the highest-paid safeties in the NFL, but last season ended with he and the Bills far apart in negotiations. Backup safety George Wilson's contract is up as well, so the Bills could become very thin at the position if they lose him, too.

That's where Sanders might come in. He's a two-time Pro Bowler and the 2007 NFL defensive player of the year during his six years in Indianapolis. However, buyer beware with this guy.

To say Sanders has been injury prone is a gross understatement. He has played in just nine games over the past three seasons and was sidelined for every game except the opener in 2010. He also has missed more regular-season games (64) in his career than he's played (47). He has never played all 16 games in any season since entering the NFL because of various physical ailments.

But what he does when healthy makes him an intriguing possibility for the Bills. Sanders is a game-changer that makes impact plays. Former Colts coach Tony Dungy called him "The Eraser'' for his knack for erasing teammates mistakes.

Sanders is a physical player despite his 5-foot-8, 206-pound frame. But he has admitted in the past that his aggressive style has contributed to many of his injuries.

Given the state of the Bills, signing Sanders might represent a minimal risk. If he stays healthy, he could immediately impact the defense. If he gets hurt again, the Bills can simply discard him.

It's the same approach they're taking with outside linebacker Shawne Merriman, who was signed to a two-year deal after three unproductive and injury-plagued seasons in San Diego. No one knows if that move will work out either, but the Bills apparently think it's worth a shot because they've got nothing to lose.

---Allen Wilson



Bills | NFL
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