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[BN] Blitz newsletter: Bills seem unlikely to target QB Kirk Cousins

Mark Gaughan wrote Wednesday that Bills fans should be happy to have missed out on Alex Smith, who is an improvement over Tyrod Taylor but still an expensive bridge quarterback. What about Kirk Cousins, whom Smith is replacing in Washington?

Cousins is expected to be too pricey for the Bills, and "nothing about his history suggests he's a lift-a-modestly-talented-squad-on-his shoulders player," Gaughan wrote.

Meanwhile, the online betting site Bovada gave lines for Cousins' potential suitors, with the Bills going off at 9-1, behind the Jets, Broncos, Cardinals and Browns. The Bills may be best suited hoping a team with a high draft pick signs Cousins, leaving one less team they're competing against for the top QBs in the draft.

Aaron Williams thanks Bills fans for being tough on him: Former Bills safety Aaron Williams announced his retirement Wednesday in a piece on The Players' Tribune website. He began by apologizing to Buffalo for not taking his career seriously enough at the start, but ended by thanking Bills fans: "And finally ... to the Bills Mafia ... you guys get the last and the biggest thank you of all," Williams wrote. "You didn’t put up with any of my s---, and I’m better off today because of that.”

Williams wrote that he was more concerned with partying and being famous when he first entered the league, but doing charity work with Fred Jackson changed his tune. He also gave details on his neck injury for the first time, revealing doctors found that the spaces between some of the vertebrae in his neck were abnormally small, which made him more susceptible to injury. He said he had surgery to "shave down the vertebrae in my neck and give the nerves more space" before his final season in Buffalo.

From Bills secondary to Super Bowl: Remember Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby? Rex Ryan envisioned those cornerbacks leading the Bills to the Super Bowl. And they got there ... just with different teams. Gilmore's Patriots face Darby's Eagles in the Super Bowl. "Yeah, I talked to Stephon," Darby said. "I was like, 'It's just crazy how it was just last year we were both on the same team and now we're about to go up against each other in the Super Bowl.' He's like, 'Yeah, I know. That is crazy.'"

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Elsewhere in the Eagles' secondary: Buffalo native and former Bill Corey Graham is going for another Super Bowl title. He earned one with the Ravens in 2012. "I can honestly say I've exceeded everything that I thought, even as a kid," Graham said. "I never thought that I would have a chance to play in two Super Bowls or have a Pro Bowl or even play 11 years in the NFL. So it's just been an amazing ride."

Jerry Sullivan: A banner day for the NFL's spinmeister: NFL commish Roger Goodell gave his annual Super Bowl week press conference Wednesday, and the master of spin was up to his old tricks, Jerry Sullivan wrote: "But that's Goodell's mission, to dodge and spin the tough issues in public. He does so much spinning, he should have webbing shooting out of his wrists, like Spider-Man." Related: Thursday Night Football has a new home.

Gronk expects to play: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski remained in concussion protocol Wednesday, but he told an ESPN reporter that he expects to play in Sunday's game.

Bills might soon face big leadership void: With Eric Wood's impending retirement, the Bills could lose three or more of their 2017 captains, Jay Skurski wrote.

How the Bills surged in annual special teams rankings: The Bills' kicking game powered them to the biggest improvement in special teams in the league.

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