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Warren Buffett wouldn't be interested in purchasing the Bills

By Tim Graham

Anybody with a billion dollars and a connection to Western New York has been suggested as a future Buffalo Bills owner.

Scratch Buffalo News owner Warren Buffett from that list.

Buffett is so loaded he could purchase the Bills and not even feel it. But at 82 years old, he said he's not interested in adding an NFL club to his portfolio.

Buffett is fourth on the Forbes' annual list of the world's richest people, with an estimated worth of $53.5 billion, or about 18 times what Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula is worth.

"If I were rich and somewhat younger, and lived in Buffalo, I'd buy them in a second," Buffett said Wednesday while visiting The Buffalo News' downtown offices for a celebration to honor retired publisher Stanford Lipsey.

"But I'm not taking on new things that my heirs will want to wrestle with. There would have been a time when I would have been very tempted."

Buffett is the primary shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate that along with 3G Capital recently agreed to take H.J. Heinz private for $23.3 billion.

Forbes last year estimated the Bills are worth $805 million.

Berkshire Hathaway owns all or part of Coca-Cola, IBM, American Express, Wells Fargo, Kraft Foods, GEICO, Dairy Queen, Fruit of the Loom, Helzberg Diamonds and The News.

Is Buffalo's front office allowing itself to get out-leveraged?

By Tim Graham

I've wondered out loud how a team can miss 13 straight postseasons and claim to rebuild through the draft yet fail to re-sign the players who develop just as they hoped they would when drafting them.

I asked Andrew Brandt, an ESPN business analyst who handled player contracts and the salary cap for the Green Bay Packers, how the moribund Bills could connect on a second-round draft pick such as left guard Andy Levitre and not be able to re-sign him.

The problem, Brandt explained, is that the Bills should have addressed Levitre's future a long time ago.

Continue reading "Is Buffalo's front office allowing itself to get out-leveraged?" »

Road to the Draft: Corey Lemonier

By Mark Gaughan

Corey Lemonier

Position: Outside linebacker
School: Auburn
Measurements: 6-foot-3, 255 pounds
40 time: 4.60 seconds. 225-pound bench press: 27 repetitions
2012 stats: 5.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss
Draft projection: Third round

Continue reading "Road to the Draft: Corey Lemonier" »

NFL Network mock: Schmo picks Cordarrelle Patterson for Bills

By Tim Graham

NFL Network put the Buffalo Bills on the clock this morning for its "NFL AM" On the Beat Mock Draft.

The wakeup call for me to make the pick came at 6:30 a.m. So I don't take it personally that you didn't set your alarm to watch the drama unfold live.

A recap of the mock draft and my selection:

  • 1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M tackle
  • 2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ezekiel Ansah, BYU defensive end
  • 3. Oakland Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, Florida defensive tackle
  • 4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, Central Michigan tackle
  • 5. Detroit Lions: Dee Milliner, Alabama cornerback
  • 6. Cleveland Browns: Geno Smith, West Virginia quarterback
  • 7. Arizona Cardinals: Chance Warmack, Alabama guard
  • 8. Buffalo Bills: Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee receiver

Continue reading "NFL Network mock: Schmo picks Cordarrelle Patterson for Bills" »

Fred Jackson says he's ready to pay fines for violating new helmet rule

Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson is not a fan of the NFL's new rule that prevents ball carriers from leading with the crowns of their helmets. (Photo: Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills player most affected by the NFL's new helmet rule is disappointed in the development -- for him and the evolution of the game.

"Everybody I've talked to is not happy about it," Bills running back Fred Jackson told me today, a couple hours after the NFL adopted a rule that prevents ball carriers from using the crowns of their helmets to initiate contact in the open field.

The penalty will be a 15-yard personal foul and would subject the offender to league fines.

Continue reading "Fred Jackson says he's ready to pay fines for violating new helmet rule" »

Does NFL helmet rule change what football's supposed to be?

By Tim Graham

When rookie running back Earl Campbell lowered the crown of his helmet into Los Angeles Rams linebacker Isaiah Robertson's sternum, blasting him backward like a leaf in a hurricane, then trudged onward while his jersey tore away, the sports world marveled.

When running back Walter Payton, hips swiveling and knees pumping, stopped twice to duck his head and ram two Kansas City Chiefs defenders on a memorable 1977 run, fans witnessed a relentless force. rated those plays among the top 64 in league history for a bracket-style tournament to determine the best. Campbell's is a No. 6 seed. Payton's is a No. 4 seed.

Campbell and Payton likely would be penalized 15 yards and have their unforgettable runs wiped out in today's NFL.

Continue reading "Does NFL helmet rule change what football's supposed to be?" »

Titans to pay Ryan Fitzpatrick $3.25 million this year

By Mark Gaughan

Ryan Fitzpatrick might have sacrificed some money -- but probably not a lot -- in rejecting the Buffalo Bills and accepting a two-year contract with the Tennessee Titans.

Fitzpatrick's deal with Tennessee is for $6.5 million, and he will make $3.25 million this year, according to the Nashville Tennessean. The Titans' plan is for Fitzpatrick to back up third-year man Jake Locker.

The Bills offered Fitzpatrick a four-year deal that averaged $3 million a year and included incentives that would have given him the chance to make up to $4 million more a year, according to a source familiar with the talks with Buffalo.

Continue reading "Titans to pay Ryan Fitzpatrick $3.25 million this year" »

Andy Levitre: Cultivated here, harvested by Nashville

By Tim Graham

I'm still trying to figure out how an organization can avoid 13 straight postseasons and declare for the past few years that it's building through the draft yet not be able to retain a homegrown talent such as Andy Levitre.

That puzzlement was at the forefront of my brain once again while reading comments from Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak, a Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman, about Levitre.

The Titans signed Levitre, the Bills' left guard and 2009 second-round draft pick, as a free agent last week. His deal is for six years and worth as much as $46.8 million.

Continue reading "Andy Levitre: Cultivated here, harvested by Nashville" »

Road to the Draft: Kevin Minter

By Jay Skurski

Kevin Minter

Position: Inside linebacker
School: LSU
Measurements: 6-foot-0, 246 pounds
40 time: 4.81 seconds 225-pound bench press: 25 reps Vertical: 33 inches
2012 stats: 13 starts, 130 tackles, 15 for loss, 4 sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble
Draft projection: First-second round

Continue reading "Road to the Draft: Kevin Minter" »

Titans coach Mike Munchak: Ryan Fitzpatrick 'will know his role'

By Tim Graham

The Tennessee Titans want Ryan Fitzpatrick to be a backup, but they realize they might have to play him if starting quarterback Jake Locker, vulnerable on the run, gets banged up.

"I think he understands his role," Titans coach Mike Munchak said today of Fitzpatrick, the former Buffalo Bills starter. "We made a decision last year after training camp that Jake's going into camp and our OTAs knowing that he's the quarterback."

Locker, the eighth pick in the 2011 draft, started 11 games for the Titans last year. He missed five with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder.

Continue reading "Titans coach Mike Munchak: Ryan Fitzpatrick 'will know his role'" »

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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 |