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Source: Brandon Gibson interested in Bills, but they never called

By Tim Graham

The Miami Dolphins continued to upgrade their offense today.

One of the players they signed apparently wanted to play for the Buffalo Bills -- but the Bills didn't call.

A source informed me shortly after wide receiver Brandon Gibson signed a three-year deal with the Dolphins that Gibson wanted to play with his buddy, Bills receiver Stevie Johnson. The sentiment was mutual, based on what Johnson told the NFL Network about Gibson last week.

But the Bills, said the source, never reached out.

The New York Jets also were interested in signing Gibson and brought him in for a visit, but the Dolphins got him.

NFL.com ranked Gibson the fifth-best receiver available in this year's free-agency group. The Dolphins signed the No. 1 player on that list, Mike Wallace, earlier this week and tight end Dustin Keller. The Dolphins also signed the top available linebacker, Dannell Ellerbe.

Continue reading "Source: Brandon Gibson interested in Bills, but they never called" »

Buffalo's inactivity 180 degrees from what's happening in Miami

By Tim Graham

Last year at this time, we were in some sort of bizarro world.

The Buffalo Bills had convinced one of the NFL's most coveted free agents to sign. They gave Mario Williams the NFL's richest contract for a defensive player.

The Miami Dolphins, meanwhile, couldn't convince anyone to sign.

The Dolphins, despite their glamorous locale and free-spending billionaire owner, endured a series of stiff-arms from coach Jeff Fisher (after getting rejected by Jim Harbaugh a year earlier) and quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn.

Twenty-seven hours into free agency this year, fortunes of the rival franchises appear to be back in alignment.

Continue reading "Buffalo's inactivity 180 degrees from what's happening in Miami" »

Peter King's top 50 FA list shows why Andy Levitre tough to re-sign

By Tim Graham

Sports Illustrated senior writer Peter King has ranked Buffalo Bills guard Andy Levitre the fourth-best player available in free agency -- higher than Mike Wallace, Jake Long, Greg Jennings, Wes Welker and Dwight Freeney.

With the open negotiating period hours away (it begins at midnight) and the franchise-tag window closed, King rated the top 50 free agents available in this year's class.

Levitre was the only Bills player to make the list, but he was slotted as the best offensive lineman. The only players ahead of him were Detroit Lions defensive Cliff Avril, Baltimore Ravens pass rusher Paul Kruger and New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib.

Continue reading "Peter King's top 50 FA list shows why Andy Levitre tough to re-sign" »

Add Rams WR Brandon Gibson to Stevie Johnson's recruiting list

By Tim Graham

On the NFL Network this morning, Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson revisited comments he made a few days ago for the Press Coverage blog.

Johnson was asked about his recruiting efforts to bring free agents to Buffalo and revealed the name of another receiver he has delivered a sales pitch to.

"I done tried to get a few guys," Johnson said. "I talked to my boy Brandon Gibson, who is in St. Louis. He's a stud. And Dashon Goldson, I talk to him a lot.

Continue reading "Add Rams WR Brandon Gibson to Stevie Johnson's recruiting list" »

So Bills need receivers; What does free-agent market look like?

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills need to restock the shelves at wide receiver, a process Stevie Johnson talked with me about for a Press Coverage blog posted this morning.

The Bills could add the best receiver in this year's draft class with the eighth overall pick, but they'll have a chance to address their needs in free agency as early as next week.

NFL.com writer Marc Sessler examined the receivers in this year's class and the 11 teams that should be most active in trying to acquire them.

Sessler ranked receivers Nos. 1 through 9 in categories labeled "impact players" (Mike Wallace, Dwayne Bowe, Greg Jennings, Wes Welker), "solid starters" (Danny Amendola, Brian Hartline), and "role players with questions" (Brandon Gibson, Donnie Avery, Julian Edelman).

Unless the Bills have their hearts set on using the eighth pick on a wide receiver, I would expect them to aim for someone in the above group. Johnson told me he has been talking up Buffalo to Bowe and Jennings directly.

A year ago, the Bills courted Robert Meachem as soon as free agency began but lost him to the San Diego Chargers. They never found a receiver of that caliber, choosing instead to draft T.J. Graham in the third round.

Graham was a disappointment, and the receiving corps as a whole has deteriorated since they took Meachem to dinner in Allentown. The Bills have announced they don't want Donald Jones and David Nelson back.

Jones and Nelson were ranked Nos. 12 and 13 overall on Sessler's list. They were under the "rotational/situational" heading, right after Domenik Hixon and a washed-up Randy Moss and ahead of Brandon Stokley, Josh Cribbs and Ted Ginn.

Sessler then lumped the rest of the receivers for teams that are desperate or need to fill out a roster. That's where you'll find Ruvell Martin's name along with the likes of Roscoe Parrish, Mike Sims-Walker, Greg Camarillo, Legedu Naanee and Derek Hagan.

Dwayne Bowe? Mike Wallace? Maybe Bills should go 'all in' at TE

By Tim Graham

Buddy Nix has been up front about the Buffalo Bills' offensive needs.

Nix has stated publicly his desire to draft a quarterback, acquire receivers and get help at tight end. In other words, the Bills need to overhaul their passing game for new coach Doug Marrone.

Options at quarterback are limited in free agency, and the college prospects will be dissected ad nauseum.

But the Bills can improve their targets with an assortment of moves through free agency and the draft.

Continue reading "Dwayne Bowe? Mike Wallace? Maybe Bills should go 'all in' at TE" »

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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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