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Readers divided on Lee Evans returning to Bills

By Tim Graham

PITTSFORD -- Press Coverage readers are against the Buffalo Bills signing free-agent receiver Lee Evans, albeit barely.

I posted a poll Sunday, asking whether you agreed with Fred Jackson that the Bills should bring back Evans. I tracked the results often, and the voting was remarkably close.

Each time I checked, the number of readers who voted "No," didn't surpass 51 percent until this afternoon. As of this posting, "No" is winning 52 percent to 47 percent (those pesky decimals).

From the comments section ...

Hndlebar wrote: "I seem to recall another aged, washed-up receiver joining the Bills at one time ... James Lofton."

Beenthere2 wrote: "I loved Evans the first time around but I am not in favor of his returning. He couldn't make it with two teams in need of a receiver, why would he make it this time with us when we seem to have a stable of eager young receivers? ... I think his time has passed with us, wish him well. Maybe the Fins will sign him and he will return to kill us. Maybe. Then again, maybe not. Move on!"

Catquick wrote: "If he can't even make it to the first round of cuts with a lame passing attack like J'villes, why would you want to bring him back and take away reps from players who haven't gone over the hill?"

Feedback also was divided on my Twitter page (@byTimGraham).

While I think it would be worth the Bills' time to give Evans a tryout and see how he's running these days, I don't think it's feasible to bring him in at this stage.

The Bills traded him in the first place because they wanted to develop their younger receivers. They also thought he was too one-dimensional, and if his downfield speed has diminished, then what's the point of taking away somebody else's reps?

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey saw it the same way for his team.

"He's not the same player, obviously, and that's normally the case when you're nine years out of it," Mularkey told Jaguars reporters Sunday. "He's just struggling getting in and out of breaks, and I think he felt the same way.

"It was probably best that he gets a chance to go with somebody else at this time of the year and give some of the younger guys more reps. There's probably eight or nine more reps that somebody else is going to get that can use it."

I'm not saying the Bills are all set at wide receiver, but I seriously doubt Evans is a better answer than someone already on the roster.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |