February 11, 2000 -- Talk about the end of an era. This particular day certainly was when it came to the Buffalo Bills.
The team was facing salary cap problems, and needed to clean out some space for future acquisitions. Therefore, it decided to release three of its all-time greats. Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith and Andre Reed were all released.
They had been the last three links to the team's run of four consecutive Super Bowls, and they were three of the greatest players in team history.
Thomas landed in Miami while Smith and Reed went to Washington; Smith became the league's all-time sack leader. After retirement, Thomas and Smith went almost directly into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, while Reed has been a finalist for that same honor.
"You'll never see players like Bruce, Thurman and me again." Reed shouted after a home game in his final season in Buffalo. "Never!"
Andre was certainly right about that.
--- Budd Bailey