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Bills activate Jonathan Meeks, drop Jamaal Westerman

The Bills activated defensive back Jonathan Meeks from the injured reserve/designated to return to the 53-man roster and released linebacker Jamaal Westerman.

Meeks, a fifth-round pick last April, went on injured reserve Oct. 14 but returned to practice Nov. 25.

The Bills also signed receiver Brandon Kaufman to the practice squad after cutting receiver Tommy Streeter.

Kaufman, 6-foot-5, was a rookie free agent from Eastern Washington who was released by the Bills before the regular season. He had 3,731 yards and 33 TDs in college.

Stevie Johnson, Robert Woods are back and other Bills notes

By Tim Graham

Some notes from the start of Buffalo Bills practice today in the field house:

Wide receivers Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods were on the field and appeared to be participating in all the drills for the portion of practice reporters are allowed to watch. Johnson (groin) missed the Bills last game. Woods (ankle) missed the past two.

"They looked good," Bills coach Doug Marrone said of Johnson and Woods. "They looked fresh."

Rookie cornerback Jonathan Meeks (ankle) was on the field today, the earliest he could return to practice since being placed on recallable injured reserve. The Bills can activate Meeks in two weeks.

Marrone said running back Ronnie Wingo wasn't at practice today because of a missed flight.

"He'll be fined," Marrone said.

The Bills signed tackle Manase Foketi to the practice squad and released guard Bryant Browning.

Bills bring back Jim Leonhard

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills are rolling six deep at safety.

Coach Doug Marrone said today that the Bills will sign safety Jim Leonhard, provided he passes a team physical, which he was taking this afternoon. 

"We're waiting for the physical, but he's in the building," Marrone said.

Update: The Bills announced Leonhard's signing via email shortly after 3 p.m.

Leonhard should come in much further along than a normal player signing six days before the season opener. That's because he has plenty of experience playing on a defense run by coordinator Mike Pettine. 

After beginning his NFL career with the Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2005, Leonhard signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2008. He spent one year there, then followed Pettine and coach Rex Ryan to the New York Jets in 2009. Leonhard spent three years in New York, and along with his season with the Ravens, that four-year stretch marks the most productive of his career. During that time, Leonhard started 53 of 56 games, made 254 tackles, four interceptions, 3.5 sacks and 21 passes defensed.

"Yeah, that's a bonus," Marrone said of Leonhard's experience with Pettine. "He's played well."

Leonhard made a free-agent visit to the Bills prior to the 2012 season, but ultimately signed a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos, starting one game. Leonhard was in training camp with the New Orleans Saints, but was one of the team's final cuts.

Leonhard joins Jairus Byrd, Aaron Williams, Da'Norris Searcy, Duke Williams and Jonathan Meeks on the Bills' 53-man roster.

Cowboys unlikely awed by Bills' 2013 draft class

By Tim Graham

The Dallas Cowboys' draft plans apparently weren't foiled by anything the Buffalo Bills did.

BloggingTheBoys.com has reconstructed Dallas' 2013 draft board, which was used as a backdrop for interviews owner Jerry Jones gave to the team's official site. A similar revelation was made in 2010, and the board was confirmed to be the real deal.

With that in mind, we can see what the Cowboys would think of the Bills' draft haul. The Cowboys likely were unimpressed.

Continue reading "Cowboys unlikely awed by Bills' 2013 draft class" »

Bills 'not concerned' about Jairus Byrd, but preparing anyway

By Tim Graham

Buffalo Bills President Russ Brandon said he's "not concerned" star safety Jairus Byrd remains unsigned.

But by all appearances the club is getting ready for life without him just in case.

The Bills today drafted safeties Duke Williams and Jonathan Meeks in the fourth and fifth rounds.

"Obviously, we will be prepared for whatever happens," Bills General Manager Buddy Nix said.

Continue reading "Bills 'not concerned' about Jairus Byrd, but preparing anyway" »

Bills draft safeties in numbers, take Jonathan Meeks in fifth round

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills took safeties with their first two draft picks today, adding Clemson captain Jonathan Meeks in the fifth round.

The Bills took Nevada safety Duke Williams in the fourth round.

Meeks was not invited to the NFL scouting combine but is considered an underrated safety with enough size (6-foot-1, 210 pounds) and speed. Bills scout Darrell Moody said Meeks was forced to play deep coverage on Clemson's defense because of personnel issues.

Continue reading "Bills draft safeties in numbers, take Jonathan Meeks in fifth round" »

Road to the Draft: Jonathan Meeks

By Jay Skurski

Jonathan Meeks

Position: Safety
School: Clemson
Measurables: 6-foot-1, 209 pounds
Combine numbers: Was not invited
2012 stats: 62 tackles, two interceptions, five pass breakups
Draft projection: Undrafted free agent

Continue reading "Road to the Draft: Jonathan Meeks" »

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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 | tgraham@buffnews.com


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 | mgaughan@buffnews.com


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 | jskurski@buffnews.com

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