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Data shows Bills should stop whining and start winning

By Tim Graham

Had the Buffalo Bills implemented their robust analytics department by now, perhaps they could've run the league-wide schedule numbers over the past few years and discovered they can't win when their opponents don't have prep time either. didn't care for the Bills' assertion that they've been treated unfairly by NFL schedule-makers and presented data that shows the Bills probably should pipe down.

On the team's sanctioned website, Chris Brown noted the Bills have a league-high six games this year against an opponent with extra time to prepare because they either come off a bye week or play Thursday night the week before.

Continue reading "Data shows Bills should stop whining and start winning" »

Bills declare 2013 schedule unfair

By Tim Graham

The NFL regular season doesn't begin for nearly three months, and already the Buffalo Bills are complaining about their schedule. has produced a breakdown of how unfair their 2013 schedule is and calls on the NFL to change its procedures for assembling 256 regular-season dates, sites and kickoff times.

"While we all realize the perfect NFL schedule is almost impossible to achieve," writes Chris Brown of, "it's hard to think that a league that is typically ahead of the curve doesn't realize how much this year's NFL schedule is slanted against the Bills and Falcons."

The team's official site analyzed all 32 schedules and found Buffalo is "disadvantaged" a league-high six times because opponents are coming off extra rest (a Thursday night game or a bye week).

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Canisius High football reaps Tyrone Wheatley progeny harvest

By Tim Graham

Chalk up Canisius High as being in favor of Doug Marrone's arrival.

St. Joe's? Maybe not so much.

That's because when Marrone was hired as Buffalo Bills head coach, he brought Tyrone Wheatley with him from Syracuse to coach running backs. Wheatley's son is blue-chip recruit Tyrone Wheatley Jr.

Buffalo News reporter Keith McShea writes on his Prep Talk blog Wheatley Jr., who will be a junior and already has received scholarship offers from Alabama, Michigan, Penn State, North Carolina and Syracuse, will attend Canisius High.

Continue reading "Canisius High football reaps Tyrone Wheatley progeny harvest" »

A breakdown of EJ Manuel's contract, signing bonus

By Tim Graham

EJ Manuel's contract numbers are in.

The Buffalo Bills' rookie quarterback -- the first selected in April's draft -- has a fully guaranteed contract worth exactly $8,885,300 over four years with a club option for a fifth year. Earlier today, Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan explained how the option works under the collective bargaining agreement.

Manuel's money is distributed as a signing bonus and base salaries. There are no workout or roster bonuses.

2013: $405,000 base salary; $4,842,036 signing bonus.

2014: $808,877 base salary.

2015: $1,212,755 base salary.

2016: $1,616,632 base salary.

2017: Club option would pay an average salary of the NFL's third- through 25th-highest-paid quarterbacks at the end of Manuel's third season.

Like all 1st-rounders, EJ Manuel has fifth-year option in deal

By Mark Gaughan

The rookie contract signed by EJ Manuel last week is worth $8.88 million over four years. However, it's possible Manuel will be locked up through 2017, not 2016.

In all first-round deals since the 2011 collective bargaining agreement was signed, the club has an option for a fifth year. The club can't exercise the option until after the player's third season. Once executed, the amount is guaranteed for injury, meaning he gets paid that fifth-year money even if he can't play due to injury.

That fifth-year money is guaranteed for skill and cap reasons as well if he's still on the roster on the first day of the league year (in March) that fifth season. That means he gets the fifth-year money at that point, even if the team decides afterward it doesn't want him on the roster.

Continue reading "Like all 1st-rounders, EJ Manuel has fifth-year option in deal" »

PFT announces ballot for Bills' Mount Rushmore vote

By Tim Graham's team-by-team Mount Rushmore series has reached the Buffalo Bills.

There are a dozen candidates for readers to choose from. All but one of them are on the team's Wall of Fame. Seven are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a couple more often are argued as worthy of induction.

Readers are asked to vote for four of the following:

  • Cornelius Bennett
  • Joe DeLamielleure
  • Jim Kelly
  • Jack Kemp
  • Marv Levy
  • Andre Reed
  • O.J. Simpson
  • Bruce Smith
  • Darryl Talley
  • Steve Tasker
  • Thurman Thomas
  • Ralph Wilson

When I asked readers to chisel a Mount Rushmore for each of the AFC East clubs in 2009, they selected Kelly, Levy, Simpson and Smith for the Bills. My ballot matched that rock-solid quartet.

Two finalists in the top 10 then who didn't appear on PFT's list were Hall of Fame guard Billy Shaw and master architect Bill Polian.

Marv Levy: Deacon Jones copied George Allen with 'sack' term

By Tim Graham

Deacon Jones did not coin the term "sack." George Allen did.

So says Buffalo Bills legend Marv Levy.

Levy was an assistant on Allen's coaching staff with the 1970 Los Angeles Rams, where Jones played, and in 1971 and 1972 with Washington.

Continue reading "Marv Levy: Deacon Jones copied George Allen with 'sack' term" »

Video: Bucky and Sully on Bills QB battle, new coaches, Tebow

News Sports Reporter Mike Harrington filled in to host this week's episode of the "Bucky & Sully Show" with News Sports Columnist Jerry Sullivan. Here are a few highlights from the show:

On Bills minicamp, QB battle:

On Fred Jackson, new coaches:

On Tebow signing with the Patriots:

Watch more of the show by clicking here.

EJ Manuel signing brings all draft picks into Bills' fold

By Mark Gaughan

The Buffalo Bills announced the signing of first-round draft pick EJ Manuel.

Terms were not announced but the deal is expected to be worth about $8.9 million over four years. Manuel was the 16th overall pick of the NFL Draft out of Florida State University.

The deal brings all of the Bills' eight draft picks are under contract.

Manuel was 25-6 as a starter for the Seminoles. He had the third most wins in school history.

People's Poll: Your only choices are 9-7 or 7-9, Bills fans

By Tim Graham

Power to the People's Poll, y'all.

Our latest question comes from Matt Lacombe (@mattlacombe1), who posed a restrictive either-or for the Buffalo Bills' 2013 record.

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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 |