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Bills reach deal with QB Edwards

The Buffalo Bills reached a contract agreement with rookie quarterback Trent Edwards on Tuesday evening.
Edwards, a third-round draft choice from Stanford University, becomes the second Bills draft pick to reach a deal with the team. Seventh-rounder C.J. Ah You previously signed.

The Bills open training camp in 15 days, and they did not want to see Edwards miss any practices. He projects as the Bills' third stringer but might push No. 2 QB Craig Nall.
"Trent's agent recognized that getting this done early was beneficial and enables Trent to now concentrate on football," said Jim Overdorf, Bills vice president of football administration.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Edwards was drafted 92nd overall, and the Bills think they got a bargain. Some draftniks rated Edwards among the top 40 selections.
"We were very happy to draft Trent because we had him very high on our draft board," said Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr.
Edwards, 6-foot-4 and 231 pounds, played seven games as a senior before being sidelined with a foot injury.
Meanwhile, many Buffalo Bills fans who go to the games will be paying $10 more a game to park this football season.
The cost to park in the Ralph Wilson Stadium lots on game day will rise from $15 to $25 in what generally are the largest lots around the complex -- Lots 1, 2, 3, 5 and F.

The cost for prepaid premium lots will be $20, up $5, for those who buy a season permit. Those are lots D and E, the closest lots on the north side of the stadium, and lot A, the closest on the south side.

"We evaluate the parking policy every year, just like we evaluate every aspect of the game-day experience," said Scott Berchtold, Bills vice president for communications.

"We haven't had a price increase on parking since 2003," Berchtold said. "Even with this increase, we're still in the average- to below-average range in the NFL in terms of the cost of parking around the stadium."

In January the Bills announced ticket price increases. The average ticket for Bills games went up by 12.5 percent, from $41.29 to $46.45. Even with the ticket increase, the Bills still will have the least expensive tickets in the 32-team NFL in 2007. The average ticket price in the NFL in 2006 was $62.

The cost to campers parking at the stadium will increase, too. Campers entering on game day will have to pay $50, up from $25. Campers entering early will get in for $40. The cost for bus parking will be $60.

Fans are not obligated to park in stadium lots. Neighboring property owners offer satellite parking near the stadium.
Parking prices very around the NFL, depending partly on the space around the facilities. Some teams incorporate parking fees into fans' personal-seat licenses, which the Bills do not sell. In the Bills' division, the AFC East, the cost for car parking is $35 in New England, $30 in Miami and $15 at the Meadowlands, where the New York Jets play.

e-mail: mgaughan@buffnews.com

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