Inside the Bills - Jul 25

Possibilities on Evans extension
Posted By: Chris Brown 7:34 PM ET

POSSIBILITIES ON EVANS EXTENSION: Lee Evans confirming that progress has been made on a contract extension is obviously good news and encouraging concerning the future of the Bills passing game.

The tough thing as I see it is deciding just where Lee ranks among the receivers in the game and the cost that comes with it.

Is he better than Larry Fitzgerald? The numbers say he isn't. Both have been in the league four years. Fitzgerald has almost 100 more receptions, almost 800 more receiving yards, but just five more TDs. Fitzgerald received a landmark 4-year extension worth $40M which included a $15M bonus and $30M guaranteed.

That is crazy money and I wouldn't expect the Bills to be anywhere near that figure.

But Lee Evans is absolutely better than Bernard Berrian. Again four years in the league and Lee has 83 more receptions, 1,600 more receiving yards and more than twice as many touchdowns (29 to 13). The problem is Minnesota overpaid for Berrian in free agency because they were so eager to sign him away from a division rival in Chicago. Berrian got $42M over six year ($7M per yr) and a $5MB.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Evans camp is looking for something in between those two contracts.

2nd CB drafted is signed
Posted By: Chris Brown 7:30 PM ET

RODGERS-CROMARTIE IS SIGNED: The second cornerback taken in last spring's draft has signed with Arizona as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie agreed on a six-year deal with the Cardinals. DRC was taken five picks after the first cornerback in the draft, Leodis McKelvin.

Much like McKelvin, Rodgers-Cromartie missed his team's first two training camp practices.

With the picks directly in front and behind him signed as well as the next closest cornerback in the draft, there can't be much left standing in the way of a new deal, unless the Bills like the Cardinals want a six-year deal and McKelvin wants five.

I don't know that, but seeing DRC sign a six-year agreement makes me wonder.

What could be holding up Peters progress
Posted By: Chris Brown 5:06

WHAT COULD BE HOLDING UP PETERS PROGRESS: Jason Peters' agent Eugene Parker is a busy man. Not only is he dealing with the Bills left tackle's desires for a new contract, but he's also trying to get a new deal for his other client, St. Louis RB Steven Jackson. Jackson also officially became a holdout today as he seeks a new deal with one year left on his contract.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that contract talks between Parker and the Rams went well into the night last evening. So it looks like Jackson may have to be taken care of first before anything even begins to take shape on the Peters front.

Hardy wants to be Trent's best friend
Posted By: Chris Brown 5:02 PM ET

HARDY WANTS TO BE TRENT'S BEST FRIEND: Obsessed with shortening his NFL learning curve any way he knows how James Hardy said he knows one good way of doing that is getting the chemistry down with Trent Edwards in the passing game.

"I want to be Trent's best friend," said Hardy. "On and off the field we have to get it done. Whatever I have to do even if I have to go to Trent's house I'll be there."

Hardy also said he's tapping into Lee Evans' experience and seeking input from him to help him get up to speed that much quicker at the NFL level.

McKelvin one of handful of 1st rounders left
Posted By: Chris Brown 4:56 PM ET

MCKELVIN ONE OF HANDFUL OF 1ST ROUNDERS LEFT: Bills CB Leodis McKelvin is one of just five first round picks in the top 15 still unsigned. Glenn Dorsey (#5), Derrick Harvey (#8), Keith Rivers (#9), McKelvin (#11) and Jonathan Stewart (#13) are the only picks in the top half of the first round still waiting to come to terms on an agreement.

Pick after McKelvin signed
Posted By: Chris Brown 1:53 PM ET

PICK AFTER MCKELVIN SIGNED: Bills top pick Leodis McKelvin is as slotted as he's going to be. On Thursday Patriots top pick Jerod Mayo signed his rookie contract and was taken one pick ahead of McKelvin. Now Denver's Ryan Clady has signed his contract (5-$14.75M-$11.4M guaranteed) and he was taken a pick after McKelvin. So the closest possible parameters have been set.

I can't imagine McKelvin taking much longer to have a contract completed. 

Jauron doesn't mind playoff talk
Posted By: Chris Brown 1:26 PM ET

JAURON DOESN'T MIND PLAYOFF TALK: Buffalo's head coach was asked about some of the confidence being expressed by his players about the 2008 campaign and beyond. Donte Whitner publicly guaranteed the Bills would make the playoffs this season and Paul Posluszny Thursday stated the following.

"This should definitely be a playoff year for us."

So what did Dick Jauron think of all the talk? Surprisingly, he has no issues with it.

"I don't have any problems with that particularly the people that have voiced it," said Jauron. "We've all seen them play, they're not people that don't walk the walk. They play and they play hard. They know that the goal is to go to the playoffs. They know that when we haven't made it we've been disappointed and they don't want to be disappointed again. They've just stepped up and challenged themselves primarily and everybody else and now they've got to play."

"If a guy doesn't feel that way I don't know if you want them on your football team. Should they say it? Not everybody, but if that's what they think and that's what they firmly believe and they think it will help the team then I have no problems with it."

The old saying is talk is cheap, but I don't get the sense that these guys are blowing smoke and just trying to be optimistic. I think they genuinely believe this is the year.

McKelvin update
Posted By: Chris Brown 1:02 PM ET

MCKELVIN UPDATE: Bills top pick Leodis McKelvin hasn't signed yet, but Dick Jauron believes it will get done in due time. With a lot of the players selected around him in round one of the draft signed, he believes slotting McKelvin in is just a matter of time.

"They kind of just fall into place and they'll fall in and we're optimistic," said Jauron. "We're working very hard at it. I wouldn't put a timetable on it because it's not anything I'm directly involved with, though I do stay up on it. Jim Overdorf and Russ (Brandon) do a tremendous job of getting these things done so I'm optimistic it will be done as timely as it can be done."

Kyle Williams excused
Posted By: Chris Brown 11:10 AM ET

KYLE WILLIAMS EXCUSED: Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams was excused from the first day of training camp practices due to the birth of his second child.

"We're anticipating that he will be in tonight or tomorrow," said head coach Dick Jauron.

John McCargo got the first team reps at right defensive tackle in Williams' absence. Williams had worked alongside Marcus Stroud with the first unit through the majority of the spring.

Williams and McKelvin absent
Posted By: Chris Brown

WILLIAMS, MCKELVIN ABSENT: In addition to Jason Peters there are two other players not in attendance. Kyle Williams and Leodis McKelvin are also not on the field. Buffalobills.com will have further updates after practice.

Peters not present at camp
Posted By: Chris Brown 8:46 PM ET

PETERS NOT IN ATTENDANCE: Its looks like Jason Peters is a holdout as the Pro Bowl left tackle is not on the practice field.

Buffalobills.com confirmed with Bills COO Russ Brandon that Peters will be fined for his absence.

Kirk Chambers is currently lining up at left tackle. Buffalobills.com will have full coverage of the Peters holdout on the home page and the multimedia section with comment from Dick Jauron and the players following practice.

NFL Network says Peters to hold outPosted By: Chris Brown 7:26 AM ET 

NFL NETWORK SAYS PETERS TO HOLD OUT: Though it's an hour before the Bills hit the practice field, NFL Network's Adam Schefter says Peters won't be on the field.

Buffalobills.com waited around for a while at camp for Peters to report, but did not see him. That doesn't mean he's not at camp, but we'll confirm it for you immediately after the players hit the field this morning.

Schefter even claims that Peters is willing to sit out the entire season to get a new and improved contract. It's a shame if that's the case. I don't think it's necessary to take such a hard line to make progress with the Bills. In fact I think taking the opposite approach is the best way to go. Mr. Wilson respects quality talent, but there has to be respect for the task at hand and the organization as well. By not being at camp I'm not so sure Peters is accomplishing that.

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