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Phone prank nets Nix on Fitz: He'll have to take pay cut

By Mark Gaughan

A prank phone call resulted in a recorded conversation between general managers Buddy Nix of the Buffalo Bills and Mark Dominik of the Tampa Bay Buccanneers. That recording was posted on the website today.

The eavesdrop didn't tell us anything we didn't already know, but it reconfirmed the Bills' conviction that Wednesday is deadline day for the renegotiation of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's contract.

Deadspin posted a phone conversation that lasted about six minutes Friday between Nix and Dominik.

In it Nix says about Fitzpatrick: "We're still struggling here with our quarterback. I say struggling. We're not really struggling. He's going to have to do something, or we'll have to."

Added Nix: "You can't afford to pay that kind of money to a guy that's fighting for probably a backup job."

And then Nix ended with this on his quarterback situation: "We gotta get one somehow. Bad time to need it."

Click on this link to hear the Deadspin audio clips between Nix and Dominik.

The Bills today released a statement on the phone call: "We are aware of the report on Deadspin involving a phone conversation with Bills GM Buddy Nix. We have made the league aware of the report and are reviewing it with legal counsel."

According to Deadspin, the pranksters initially called Nix's office claiming to be Dominik, and when the call was patched through, they hung up. Nix kept calling back the number, seeking to talk with Dominik. Eventually, Nix called back precisely when the pranksters were calling Dominik's office and were patched through to the Bucs GM. They put the calls on speaker phone and recorded them with a second cell phone and listened.

The problem for Nix was he returned Dominik's call to the joke line. One would think he'd return the call to Dominik's office or Dominik's real cell phone, which all general managers no doubt have.

Fitzpatrick is due a $3 million bonus on the second day of the NFL's league year, which starts today.


Buddy Nix | Ryan Fitzpatrick
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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 |