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Chargers sign St. Francis alum Luke Tasker to rookie deal

By Tim Graham

Some St. Francis High love is going down in San Diego.

Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco has signed fellow Frannies grad Luke Tasker to a free-agent rookie contract.

Tasker is the son of Buffalo Bills special-teams trailblazer Steve Tasker.

Luke Tasker had 75 catches for 1,207 yards and eight touchdowns last season at Cornell. He ranked fifth nationally in Division I-AA with an average of 120.7 receiving yards a game and ninth with 7.5 catches a game.

Da'Rick Rogers: 'Tell Bills fans they got the steal of the draft'

By Tim Graham

Almost half the NFL's 32 teams wanted Da'Rick Rogers on their rosters.

None of them had enough confidence to draft him.

"That puts a bigger chip on my shoulder," Rogers told me over the phone today. "The Buffalo Bills get that much. They get a hard-working player that's got the biggest chip in the world on his shoulder.

"That just drives me that much more. I do take personally. I do take it to heart."

Continue reading "Da'Rick Rogers: 'Tell Bills fans they got the steal of the draft'" »

Bills add 16 undrafted rookies, release four long shots

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills formally announced the signing of 16 undrafted rookies:

  • Jeff Tuel, Washington State quarterback
  • Kendall Gaskins, Richmond running back
  • Drew Smith, Albany fullback
  • Kevin Norrell, Stony Brook receiver
  • Da'Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech receiver
  • Brandon Kaufman, Eastern Washington receiver
  • Ryan Turnley, Pittsburgh center
  • Zack Chibane, Syracuse guard
  • Izaan Cross, Georgia Tech defensive end
  • Aaron Tipoti, California defensive tackle
  • Keith Pough, Howard linebacker
  • Nickell Robey, USC cornerback
  • Kip Edwards, Missouri cornerback
  • Jumal Rolle, Catawba cornerback
  • Vernon Kearney, Lane cornerback
  • Jordan Dangerfield, Towson defensive back

The Bills also announced they've released four players:

  • Quarterback Aaron Corp
  • Tight end Joe Sawyer
  • Tackle Adam Grant
  • Kicker Chris Koepplin

Da'Rick Rogers will control whether he's a player or a flop

By Tim Graham

Two months ago at the NFL scouting combine, Da'Rick Rogers said he didn't care when he got drafted.

The former Tennessee receiver knew his pockmarked past would damage his draft stock.

"It's no big deal to me," Rogers said in Indianapolis. "Just getting my foot in the door is a blessing. All I can do is go in and work hard and get my opportunity."

Rogers didn't get drafted, but he quickly agreed to a free-agent deal with the Buffalo Bills on Saturday night, a team source confirmed.

The Bills are taking a low-risk, high-reward chance with Rogers. He can play. The problem is poor off-field judgement that raised red flags.

The Buffalo News also has confirmed Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel, Eastern Washington receiver Brandon Kaufman, Howard linebacker Keith Pough and USC cornerback Nickell Robey will be among the Bills' initial crop of undrafted rookies.

Rogers, though, is the headliner. He might be the NFL's most significant undrafted rookie of 2013.

Continue reading "Da'Rick Rogers will control whether he's a player or a flop" »

Bills draft picks could be legit Rookie of the Year candidates

By Tim Graham

This just in from the Unnecessary Added Expectations Department ...

The Buffalo Bills probably have two of the top preseason candidates for 2013 offensive rookie of the year: quarterback EJ Manuel and receiver Robert Woods.

Since the award's inception in 1967, a quarterback, running back or wide receiver has won the award every year. This year's draft was heavy on offensive linemen and feather-light on quarterbacks and running backs in the early rounds.

Continue reading "Bills draft picks could be legit Rookie of the Year candidates" »

Bills less likely to sign Karlos Dansby with Kiko Alonso in fold

By Tim Graham

The chances of Karlos Dansby becoming a Buffalo Bill have withered.

Bills General Manager Buddy Nix indicated the addition of Oregon linebacker Kiko Alonso in the second round has diminished the likelihood of signing Dansby, a free agent who visited One Bills Drive a few days ago.

"We're still going to keep the dialogue open with him," Nix said, "but we do think it's changed some because Alonso can play both places."

The Miami Dolphins made Dansby the highest-paid inside linebacker in NFL history three years ago but released him last month after signing Baltimore Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe in free agency.

Bills sign undrafted QB Jeff Tuel and WR Brandon Kaufman

By Tim Graham

Buffalo Bills General Manager Buddy Nix declared he wanted another quarterback, and his staff didn't waste time locating one after the draft.

The Bills already have signed undrafted Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel as well as Eastern Washington receiver Brandon Kaufman.

Those signings were confirmed for The Buffalo News by their agent, Cameron Foster.

Continue reading "Bills sign undrafted QB Jeff Tuel and WR Brandon Kaufman" »

Report: Bills to sign notable UFA in ex-Tennessee WR Da'Rick Rogers

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills have reportedly nabbed one of the higher-profile undrafted free agents on the market.

According to a tweet from Mike Garafolo of USA Today, the Bills have signed former Tennessee wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers.

Rogers has ideal size (6-foot-2, 217 pounds) and speed (4.44 40 time), but comes with significant baggage. He was kicked out of Tennesseee after failing multiple drug tests. He played last season at Tennessee Tech, where he had 78 receptions for 1,207 yards and 11 touchdowns.

"Tremendous talent. He has great body control and a lot of strength in his body and really strong hands," Bills director of college scouting Chuck Cook said last week at the team's pre-draft luncheon. "We've been tracking him and doing our due diligence with his intangibles."

Rogers was a second-team All-SEC selection with the volunteers in 2011 when he had 67 catches for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns. ESPN ranked Rogers as the best available undrafted free agent receiver.

Bills 'very seriously' considered drafting another quarterback

By Tim Graham

Even though the Buffalo Bills made EJ Manuel the only quarterback taken in the first round Thursday night, they didn't come away from the draft satisfied with their quarterback depth.

Bills General Manager Buddy Nix said the Bills "very seriously" considered drafting another one and indicated they would be on the prowl for an undrafted rookie to join the competition.

"We'll try to get another one in free agency," Nix said.

Top quarterbacks who weren't drafted include Tennessee's Tyler Bray, Washington State's Jeff Tuel, Arizona's Matt Scott, Kansas State's Collin Klein and Vanderbilt's Jordan Rodgers.

Bray, Tuel and Scott made pre-draft visits to One Bills Drive this month.

Russ Brandon says Buddy Nix will be Bills GM 'for a long time'

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills contend the persistent rumors about Buddy Nix's imminent departure have been inaccurate.

Many insiders expect this draft to be Nix's last as Buffalo's general manager, that he will step aside for heir apparent Doug Whaley.

After the Bills made their eighth and final draft choice today, there was no indication a transfer of power would happen any time soon.

Continue reading "Russ Brandon says Buddy Nix will be Bills GM 'for a long time'" »

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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 |