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For the record: Vital dates on NFL's 2013-14 calendar

By Tim Graham

For the Record Friday is back with important information to help you traverse everything from free-agent signing deadlines to roster cutdown days to the date of next year's NFL draft.

The NFL has released its updated schedule of key dates for the upcoming season and into beginning of the 2014 leage year.

Continue reading "For the record: Vital dates on NFL's 2013-14 calendar" »

For the record: Buffalo Bills conclude their 30 pre-draft visits

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills have conducted their 30 pre-draft visits. The final three invited prospects -- Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson, Harvard fullback Kyle Juszczyk and Southern Methodist linebacker Ja'Gared Davis -- were at One Bills Drive today.

Here's the entire list of pre-draft visitors, as announced by the Bills, sorted by position and in order of when they came through town.

Quarterbacks: EJ Manuel, Florida State; Mike Glennon, North Carolina State; Geno Smith, West Virginia; Landry Jones, Oklahoma; Jeff Tuel, Washington State; Matt Scott, Arizona; Matt Barkley, USC; Tyler Bray, Tennessee; Tyler Wilson, Arkansas.

Fullback: Kyle Juszczyk, Harvard.

Wide receivers: Russell Shepard, Louisiana State; Ryan Swope, Texas A&M; Justin Hunter, Tennessee; Zach Rogers, Tennessee; Da'Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech; Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee.

Tight ends: Ryan Griffin, Connecticut; Vance McDonald, Rice.

Linebackers: Jamie Collins, Southern Mississippi; Kevin Minter, Louisiana State; Jarvis Jones, Georgia; Barkevious Mingo, Louisiana State; Dion Jordan, Oregon; Alec Ogletree, Georgia; Ja'Gared Davis, Southern Methodist.

Safeties: Cooper Taylor, Richmond; Malcolm Bronson, McNeese State; Jonathan Meeks, Clemson; Kenny Vaccaro, Texas; Phillip Thomas, Fresno State.

For the record: Super Bowl XLVIII odds shift with roster moves

By Tim Graham

With no Buffalo Bills free-agency news to report at the moment, let's take a look at the odds to win Super Bowl XLVIII.

Online betting site updated their numbers today, factoring in free-agency moves. The Baltimore Ravens went from 14-to-1 odds a week ago to 20-to-1 after losing several starters, including receiver Anquan Boldin, pass-rusher Paul Kruger and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe.

The Miami Dolphins, who've added Ellerbe and receiver Mike Wallace, jumped from 60-to-1 odds last week to 35-to-1, the biggest improvement for any team.

  • Denver Broncos 7-to-1
  • San Francisco 49ers 7-to-1
  • New England Patriots 15-to-2
  • Seattle Seahawks 10-to-1
  • Atlanta Falcons 12-to-1
  • Green Bay Packers 12-to-1
  • Houston Texans 16-to-1
  • New Orleans Saints 16-to-1
  • Baltimore Ravens 20-to-1
  • New York Giants 20-to-1
  • Pittsburgh Steelers 20-to-1
  • Chicago Bears 25-to-1
  • Dallas Cowboys 25-to-1
  • Washington Redskins 25-to-1
  • Philadelphia Eagles 30-to-1
  • Cincinnati Bengals 35-to-1
  • Detroit Lions 35-to-1
  • Indianapolis Colts 35-to-1
  • Miami Dolphins 35-to-1
  • San Diego Chargers 40-to-1
  • Kansas City Chiefs 45-to-1
  • Carolina Panthers 50-to-1
  • Minnesota Vikings 50-to-1
  • New York Jets 60-to-1
  • St. Louis Rams 60-to-1
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 60-to-1
  • Cleveland Browns 75-to-1
  • Arizona Cardinals 100-to-1
  • Buffalo Bills 100-to-1
  • Oakland Raiders 100-to-1
  • Tennessee Titans 100-to-1
  • Jacksonville Jaguars 150-to-1

For the record: Primer on UFA negotiation window

By Tim Graham

In less than two hours, the three-day negotiation window for unrestricted free agents will begin.

Representatives for players with expiring contracts and more than three years of accrued service are permitted to speak with the other 31 teams. The top Buffalo Bills players who are in this category include left guard Andy Levitre, cornerback Leodis McKelvin and defensive end Kyle Moore.

The following explanation was distributed by the NFL to help people understand this new wrinkle to the process:

Continue reading "For the record: Primer on UFA negotiation window" »

For the record: Top 40-yard dash times at NFL combine

By Tim Graham

Welcome back to For the Record Fridays.

In this installment, we review the top 40-yard dash times at the recently completed NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

  • 4.27 Marquise Goodwin, Texas wide receiver
  • 4.34 Tavon Austin, West Virginia wide receiver
  • 4.34 Onterio McCalebb, Auburn running back
  • 4.34 Ryan Swope, Texas A&M wide receiver
  • 4.36 Darius Slay, Mississippi State cornerback
  • 4.37 Knile Davis, Arkansas running back
  • 4.37 Dee Milliner, Alabama cornerback
  • 4.38 Josh Boyce, Texas Christian wide receiver
  • 4.38 Kenny Stills, Oklahoma wide receiver
  • 4.38 Desmond Trufant, Washington cornerback
  • 4.39 Robert Alford, Southeastern Louisiana cornerback
  • 4.39 Jamar Taylor, Boise State cornerback
  • 4.40 Brandon McGee, Miami cornerback
  • 4.41 Sanders Commings, Georgia cornerback
  • 4.41 Kayvon Webster, South Florida cornerback

For the record: Complete 2013 first-round draft order

By Tim Graham

The 2013 NFL draft order was finalized with the outcome of Super Bowl XLVII.

For the record, here you go:

  • 1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14)
  • 2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14)
  • 3. Oakland Raiders (4-12)
  • 4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12)
  • 5. Detroit Lions (4-12)
  • 6. Cleveland Browns (5-11)
  • 7. Arizona Cardinals (5-11)
  • 8. Buffalo Bills (6-10)
  • 9. New York Jets (6-10)
  • 10. Tennessee Titans (6-10)
  • 11. San Diego Chargers (7-9)
  • 12. Miami Dolphins (7-9)
  • 13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9)
  • 14. Carolina Panthers (7-9)
  • 15. New Orleans Saints (7-9)
  • 16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1)
  • 17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
  • 18. Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
  • 19. New York Giants (9-7)
  • 20. Chicago Bears (10-6)
  • 21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)
  • 22. Washington Redskins (10-6)
  • 23. Minnesota Vikings (10-6)
  • 24. Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
  • 25. Seattle Seahawks (11-5)
  • 26. Green Bay Packers (11-5)
  • 27. Houston Texans (12-4)
  • 28. Denver Broncos (13-3)
  • 29. New England Patriots (12-4)
  • 30. Atlanta Falcons (13-3)
  • 31. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1)
  • 32. Baltimore Ravens (10-6)

For the record: Breakdown of Bills 2013 free-agent class

By Tim Graham

Here is a breakdown of the Buffalo Bills' 2013 free-agent class and what their designations mean.

Unrestricted free agents (13)

Teams have exclusive negotiating rights, but once free-agency begins, players are free to negotiate with other clubs. Original team receives no compensation if the player signs elsewhere.

The original team has the option to place a franchise tag on one unrestricted free agent (a guaranteed one-year salary at the average of the five highest-paid players at the position or a 20 percent raise, whichever is greater) or one transition tag (a guaranteed one-year salary at the average of the 10 highest-paid players at the position).

"Exclusive" franchise tags prohibit the player from negotiating with other clubs. A team that uses a "nonexclusive" franchise tag on a player and then declines to match an offer sheet from another club will receive two first-round draft choices from that team. Transition tags offer no such compensation.

  • • Jairus Byrd, safety
  • • Tashard Choice, running back
  • • Tarvaris Jackson, quarterback
  • • Spencer Johnson, defensive end
  • • Andy Levitre, left guard
  • • Ruvell Martin, wide receiver
  • • Corey McIntyre, fullback
  • • Leodis McKelvin, cornerback
  • • Shawne Merriman, defensive end
  • • Kyle Moore, defensive end
  • • Chad Rinehart, offensive lineman
  • • Bryan Scott, linebacker
  • • Tyler Thigpen, quarterback

Restricted free agents (3)

The player may negotiate with other teams. But if the original club extends a qualifying offer to the player, then it retains right of first refusal to match any outside contract offer. There are three types of qualifying offers, offering different levels of payment and draft compensation if the player leaves.

Exclusive-rights free agents (2)

ERFA's are free agents in name only. They are players with two years of NFL experience or less and have expiring contracts. They may not negotiate with other clubs. If they are extended a contract offer, they must accept or not play at all.

  • • Mike Caussin, tight end
  • • Dorin Dickerson, tight end/fullback

For the record: Key NFL offseason dates for draft and free agency

By Tim Graham

On the first Friday after the Super Bowl, welcome to what I'm calling "For the Record Friday," a series of blog posts to remind everyone what must be tended to in the offseason.

These are the key dates on the NFL calendar.

• Feb. 9-10: Regional combine, Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif.

• Feb. 16: Regional combine, Houston Texans training facility in Houston.

• Feb. 17: Regional combine, Cleveland Browns training facility in Berea, Ohio.

• Feb. 20-26: NFL scouting combine, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

• March 2-3: Regional combine, New York Jets training facility in Florham Park, N.J.

• March 9-11: Clubs are permitted to enter into contract negotiations with certified agents of players who will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the current league year.

Continue reading "For the record: Key NFL offseason dates for draft and free agency" »


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 |