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Bills' Evans shrugs off trade rumors

Lee Evans shrugged off rumors Wednesday that he might be trade material, considering the Buffalo Bills' depth at wide receiver.

"I don't really know," Evans said after Wednesday's walk-through practice. "Obviously that's something that's out of my control. There's always rumors like that out there, so we'll just have to see what happens."

An Arizona radio station reported this week that the Cardinals have some interest in Evans.

"It's hard for me to comment on that now," Evans said. "It's one of those things you have to find out how much substance is behind it and see what happens."

The Bills' addition of Brad Smith and Craig Davis in free agency further supplemented what already was a deep receiving corps. Barring any trade, Evans, Stevie Johnson, Roscoe Parrish, David Nelson and Donald Jones figure to be locks to make the roster, presuming they're healthy.

Second-year man Marcus Easley was a fourth-round pick last year. The Bills are not about to give up on him, even though he has sat out most of training camp with a sore knee. Buffalo's Naaman Roosevelt is having a good camp after proving his NFL-worthiness last season. Davis is a former first-round pick of the Chargers who has not been able to stay healthy. Smith is working mostly at quarterback but can fill in at receiver. The Bills probably will keep six receivers but could keep a seventh.

Evans is coming off a subpar year. He had 37 catches for 578 yards and four touchdowns. However, he remains the Bills' best deep threat, and his speed keeps defenses honest. Whether an offense that ranked only 25th last season can afford to lose a weapon of his quality is highly questionable.

Regarding the Bills' receiver depth, Evans said: "That's just the way the game is. I think what we have is a very young, talented corps of receivers. My part is to do what I can to make myself better and also bring those guys up."

On whether he's happy with the Bills, Evans said: "Yeah, obviously. I've been here a long time and know a lot of people, and I've been around the organization for awhile so I'm happy."

Evans said he thinks Chan Gailey's offense suits him fine.

"Yeah, absolutely," he said. "They've done some things this year to try to move things around [play him at different receiver spots] to try to accommodate that. So we'll see what happens."

Evans' contract runs through 2012.

"You still have to play the game," Evans said of trade rumors. "That's what I come here to do, to prepare myself to play and play well regardless of where it is."

Teammate Johnson said he doesn't like the thought of not having Evans on the other side of the field.

"This is Lee we're talking about. He's our guy. To lose him, it would be like, 'Man, I can't believe he's gone,' " Johnson said. "Hopefully everything goes smooth and he's still rockin' with the Buffalo Bills."

email: mgaughan@buffnews.com

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