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This Day in Buffalo Sports History / Dec. 19, 2000 -- Another exit

The departure of Bill Polian as Bills' general manager in the midst of the team's Super Bowl run in the 1990s was a shocker. The exit of his successor, John Butler, was a big surprise, too.

Butler's contract only had a couple of months left when he started negotiations with owner Ralph Wilson. Butler realized he had a good reputation within the National Football League and wanted full market value. Wilson wanted a quick settlement so that the offseason business could start.

Wilson made some offers, but didn't get any answers.

"I could never get anything definitive from him as to what his intentions were," the Bills' owner said.

Butler ended up with the San Diego Chargers, and died of lymphoma in 2003. The Bills hired Tom Donahoe to replace Butler. They haven't made the playoffs since Butler left.

-- Budd Bailey

Sports Ink blog at