The only thing certain about Derrick Burroughs' pro football future is that it won't be with the Buffalo Bills.
However, the possibility exists the 28-year-old cornerback will play elsewhere in the NFL once his contractual ties with the Bills have been officially severed.
That could come via a release or even a trade.
Burroughs hasn't played a down since suffering a neck injury in the Sept. 24, 1989, victory over Houston. He was later discovered to have cervical stenosis, a condition where two rings of his spine are smaller than normal and capable of pinching the spinal cord and causing quadriplegia. On that basis, the Bills informed Burroughs last November he no longer would play for them.
Last March, Burroughs underwent disk surgery. According to Bills General Manager Bill Polian, Burroughs is expected to recover from the operation, but it won't correct the stenosis.
"The stenosis is what's preventing him from playing for the Bills," Polian said.
Once the Bills' medical staff certifies he has recovered from the surgery, it will officially determine he is not medically fit to play. That is likely to happen when training camp opens July 27 at Fredonia State College.
Burroughs has said publicly he would like to continue playing. In that case, the Bills probably would release him so he could sign with another team as a free agent. Before taking that step, however, they would check to see if there is enough interest to warrant a trade, probably for a conditional draft pick.
"It depends on what Derrick wants to do," Polian said. "When I last spoke to him a short while back, he was in a quandary over whether to play or retire."
Al Edwards, the Bills' 11th-round draft choice from Northwest Louisiana State, has agreed to a multiyear contract with the team, thus becoming the team's first 1990 draft choice to come to terms.
Edwards is a 5-foot-8, 171-pound wide receiver with great speed. He was one of the stars of the Bills minicamp last month, impressing the coaches with his exceptional speed and elusiveness.
It's official: Tim Vogler, an offensive lineman for the Bills since 1979, has retired.
Vogler's playing career was ended by a knee injury he suffered during the 1988 season. His final game was Dec. 11 of that year against the Los Angeles Raiders. Vogler later underwent reconstructive knee surgery and spent the 1989 campaign on the Bills' physically unable to perform list.
He joined the Bills as a rookie free agent from Ohio State. In 118 regular-season appearances, Vogler played all three positions on the offensive line and saw specialty duty at tight end. He made 41 starts as a guard, center and tackle.
Defensive end Ralph Jarvis, an off-season free-agent signee, has been impressive in non-contact Cannot distribute vertically drills. The Bills think the 6-foot-4, 255-pound Jarvis could be effective as a pass-rushing specialist, and he will have every opportunity to secure that role during training camp.
He attempted to make the team last summer as a free agent, but was cut.
The Bills have sold more than 45,000 season tickets to date, according to Director of Marketing and Sales Jerry Foran. That's about 2,500 fewer than last year's total of 47,865. It is questionable whether the Bills, who raised prices by $3 per ticket earlier in the year, will reach last year's total.
The Bills have scheduled a second Select-a-Seat Week, running from Monday, July 30, to Saturday, Aug. 4, when they face the Washington Redskins in a scrimmage at Rich Stadium. Fans will have an opportunity to try out available seats and purchase them for the season, just as they did during last month's mini-camp at the stadium.
A small admission price, not yet determined, is planned for the scrimmage against Washington, with proceeds going to charity.
Tickets for individual Bills games will go on sale July 5 at the Rich Stadium box office and Marine Midland Bank branches throughout Western New York.