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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Twin trades

     July 22, 1976 -- The Buffalo Bills did some good-sized trading on this day as they started to prepare for the upcoming season.

     First-round draft choices usually aren't dealt very often, but a pair were involved on this day. Buffalo sent J.D. Hill to the Lions for Detroit's first-round pick in 1977. Then the Bills gave up their own No. 1  in '77 for defensive end Sherman White.

     It was tough to see Hill go. He was the Bills' first-round pick in 1971, going fourth overall. Hill caught 52 passes in 1972, by far his best season in the league. Part of the problem was that the Bills emphasized the ground game during his years in Buffalo, which wasn't a bad idea with O.J. Simpson in the backfield.

  The transaction didn't work out too well for the Lions. Hill only caught 25 passes in two years and was done with football after 1977.

     White turned out better in Buffalo. He stayed on the roster through 1983, when he left at the age of 35.

     As for the draft picks, Buffalo had a poor 1976 and thus had the third overall pick, and the Bengals used the choice on Eddie Edwards. The next pick, Marvin Powell, would have been better. Buffalo used the Lions' choice to take Phil Dokes, who only lasted two seasons.

--- Budd Bailey

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