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The Buffalo Bills will take a fond look at their past today before spending the rest of the week addressing their future.

The Bills were to bring Thurman Thomas back to town at 3 p.m. today for his official retirement announcement.

The event kicks off what will be one of the busiest weeks of the year for the Bills.

On Wednesday they will announce which quarterback -- Rob Johnson or Doug Flutie -- they will keep and which one they will cut.

On Thursday, several players are expected to be released in the numbers-crunching the Bills must do to get their salary cap total for 2001 under $67.4 million.

On Friday, the NFL free agency season opens. Bills defensive end Marcellus Wiley is expected to be one of the most hotly pursued players.

Thomas was released last week by the Miami Dolphins and will perform a ceremonial contract signing before announcing his retirement so he can end his career with the Bills.

The 34-year-old Thomas suffered a serious injury to his right knee in November. He wound up playing nine games for the Dolphins.

Thomas ends his 13-year career ninth on the NFL's all-time rushing list with 12,074 yards. He's sixth on the all-time list for yards from scrimmage, combining rushing and receiving, with 16,532.

He is the only player ever to lead the NFL in yards from scrimmage four consecutive years, doing it from 1989 to 1992.

Thomas, drafted by the Bills in the second round of the 1988 draft, has his name all over the Bills' record book.

He's the Bills' all-time leader in rushing yards and attempts, he's second in career receptions, fourth in receiving yards and is tied for first with Andre Reed in career touchdowns. Thomas' 11,938 rushing yards as a Bill lead O.J. Simpson's total of 10,183.

Meanwhile, the Bills figure to go down to the deadline of 4 p.m. Thursday before making their final cap-related roster moves.

The fate of numerous veterans -- including Phil Hansen, Ken Irvin, Sam Rogers and Antowain Smith -- is expected to depend on how much of a pay cut they are willing to accept.

The Bills also remain in negotiations about restructuring contracts with Jerry Ostroski and John Holecek.

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