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RB Taylor to visit Bills

Veteran running back Fred Taylor will visit the Buffalo Bills, probably today, league sources told The Buffalo News.

Taylor, released last Monday by the Jacksonville Jaguars, is a 33-year-old, 11-year NFL veteran. He ranks 16th on the NFL's all-time rushing list with 11,271 yards.

Last season he finished with 556 rushing yards on 143 carries in 13 games.

He was the starter for Jacksonville, but backup Maurice Jones-Drew got more attempts (197) and rushed for more yards (824).

Taylor is expected to visit the New England Patriots after meeting with the Bills.

The Bills undoubtedly are looking for insurance at running back in the wake of the arrest of starter Marshawn Lynch on misdemeanor gun possession charges in California.

Because it's Lynch's second high-profile scrape with the law, he could be facing a suspension from the NFL of perhaps one to four games.

However, the move could have bigger implications, too. The Bills have a quality backup in Fred Jackson. It may be hard to convince Taylor to join Buffalo if he thinks he's going to be the third wheel in the Bills' backfield. If the Bills were to convince Taylor to sign, it could trigger an attempt to trade Lynch.
The Jaguars saved money by releasing him. He was scheduled to earn a $6 million base salary this year and also was due a $1 million roster bonus in the coming weeks. The cut also allowed the Jaguars to make Jones-Drew their clear-cut No. 1 back.

Bills coach Dick Jauron was on the Jaguars' staff when Taylor was drafted in 1998.

New England is looking for running back insurance because starter Laurence Maroney has been beset by injuries in his career.

e-mail: mgaughan@buffnews.com

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