ATLANTA -- When it comes time for the NFL to vote on the Buffalo Bills' next owner or whether the team will move, Bills fans would need nine owners to block anything undesirable.
Fans will be pleased to know they already have one of those nine votes line up.
Mark Murphy, the Green Bay Packers' president and CEO, is admittedly biased. He's from Clarence and believes the Bills must stay in Western New York.
"I will do everything I can to keep the team in Buffalo," Murphy said this afternoon at the NFL's spring meeting in Atlanta. "I think it means so much to that community, very similar in some ways to what the Packers mean to Green Bay."
Murphy votes for the Packers, who are publicly owned.
Murphy was a Pro Bowl defensive back for Washington before earning his law degree from Georgetown. He was athletics director at Northwestern and Colgate, his alma mater, before joining the Packers.
He's optimistic about the Bills' future.
"I am a Bills fan, although I can't really be," Murphy said with a laugh. "I think they are in very good hands. All of the moves they've made are the right ones with regionalization. The only thing that has been lacking for them has been consistent success on the field.
"But the fan base speaks for itself. It's pretty passionate.
"I think they'll find an owner with Western New York roots and keep the team in the area. I think the Bills are going to thrive in the future."
Asked about the idea of Toronto, Murphy paused a few seconds before he answered.
"Uh, no," Murphy said. "I wouldn't be supportive of that."
Toronto technically is Bills home territory because it's within a 75-mile radius of Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The Packers used to split their home games between Lambeau Field and Milwaukee.
"Toronto is different," Murphy said. "It's a whole country away. It wouldn't feel right."
Story topics: Mark Murphy