Here's the Bills news of note for March 8th.
**1 - 'Zo's preference remains Buffalo
**Bills free agent linebacker Lorenzo Alexander was in Indianapolis all last week as part of his duties as an executive committee member of the NFLPA. In that time he and his agent held discussions with Buffalo about returning to the club in 2017.
Alexander is eager to prove he was not a one-year wonder in 2016 when he posted a career-high 12.5 sacks. He told NFL.com’s Michael Silver the following.
"People say I'm a one-hit wonder, that I've never done those things before this past season, but it's the first time I've been asked to do them," Alexander said. "So now I get to hit the market, and look: You don't need to wine and dine me. The contract you offer is going to show me how much you love me. I don't need to go to dinner. I don't need a tour. I don't need to see the city. Just show me the offer."
Alexander said he has been told by new Bills head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Doug Whaley that they would like him to return, despite a switch to a 4-3 defensive scheme.
2 - Bills rank 24th in free agency intrigueYahooSports NFL columnist Charles Robinson on the eve of free agency decided to rank the 32 NFL clubs by how interesting their free agent offseason plans could be. For him the Bills checked in at 24 on the list.
24. Buffalo Bills ($15.6 million)
Biggest need: Quarterback (?)
The Tyrod Taylor issue looms. If Taylor's option isn't picked up, the Bills will have to scramble at quarterback. It's a tough spot to be in. If he is retained, then perhaps the Bills can try to improve at receiver. Sammy Watkins is rarely healthy and there's very little behind him.
The top three teams for free agency intrigue were Cleveland due mainly to their more than $100 million in cap space, New England and Tampa Bay topped the list as they seek a proven receiver to pair with Mike Evans.
3 - Dareus completes life changing mission in HaitiMarcell Dareus has family roots in Haiti with his late father a native of the island country. So the defensive tackle felt a natural pull when he participated in a humanitarian mission, Hope for Haiti, last month. But even he underestimated the impact it would have on his life. Now back in the US, Dareus reflected on his time spent there.
"The trip is still surreal to me," said Dareus, whose father passed away when the two-time Pro Bowler was only nine years old. "I can't say thank you enough to Hope for Haiti for putting this together for me, letting me experience the culture of my father's people and understand where my donation is being put to use.
Dareus, who donated $25,000 to the organization, visited two schools, both located in Les Cayes in the southwest region of the country, where the charity focuses the majority of its work. He was greeted by welcome signs, school staff, teachers and more than 800 children wearing his signature captain's hats, which he had shipped to them prior to his trip.
"Meeting the Haitian children touched me the most," Dareus continued. "I saw myself in them. They helped me remember a time when I was little and my father raised us in the Haitian community in Tampa. We were struggling too. It amazed me they were so happy, polite and grateful, even though they have barely anything. It made me realize again how fortunate I am. When I saw those welcome signs with my name on them, I really couldn't believe it."
In addition to the schools, Dareus visited Infirmary St. Etienne, a primary care facility operated by Hope for Haiti where he met dedicated doctors and medical technicians while touring the facility and listened to a realistic account of the state of health care in the area.
He also met elderly men and women at Foyer St. Etienne, the only senior home in the region, which is located in the same compound. It was there that he experienced one of the most moving parts of his trip, when he met a 105-year-old Haitian woman who wanted to sit and pray for him.
"I had no idea this trip was going to be so life-changing for me," said Dareus."It felt like an out of body experience, almost like I was watching the trip not from where I was sitting, but like I was looking down on the whole experience. It hit me in so many ways."