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Bills

Props to you, the readers, for providing some great questions this week in the Bills Mailbag. A programming note: If yours didn't make it this week, I've got it saved for next week. Let's get to it ... Viva Los Bills #PonchoPower asks: What returning starter from last season is the most likely not to make the team in 2019? Jay: First of all, well done on the name.…

Bills

Veronica Borjon and Buffalo Bills administrators talked about the possibilities for a long time. There were a few options on the table for honoring Ezra Castro, the exuberant mask-wearing Bills fan often known as Pancho Billa, who died of cancer Tuesday at a Dallas hospital. After giving it a lot of thought over the last two days, Borjon and the Bills settled on an a…

Bills

Lee Smith feels back at home. The Buffalo Bills’ new tight end has returned to the team he spent the first four years of his NFL career with, signing Monday as a free agent after four years with the Oakland Raiders. “There's so many great things going on here, from the way the Pegulas have transformed this whole organization and this building,” Smith said Wednesday a…

Columns

Ken Johnson, known far better as “Pinto Ron” around greater Buffalo, vividly remembers meeting Ezra Castro. It is important to read that sentence exactly as written, because Castro is being eulogized throughout the football world as Pancho Billa, the mask-and-sombrero wearing character he made famous in the stands at Buffalo Bills games. They were introduced in the crow…

Bills

The Buffalo Bills have something that has eluded them for a long time: Stability. The team is entering the third year under the leadership of coach Sean McDermott. That means the same defensive system for three years in a row. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll will return for his second season on the job, so the offense will have continuity that it has long lacked. Las…

Bills

The hard news about Ezra Castro had just started moving Tuesday morning around Twitter when Brandon Beane’s phone began to buzz in Orchard Park. He glanced at the number and understood immediately what the call would mean. It was Veronica Borjon, Castro’s longtime partner. She was calling the Bills general manager to tell him about the death of Castro, 39, who with his …

Bills

Josh Allen called a late audible. The Buffalo Bills’ quarterback was part of a design team that met Monday inside a conference room on the seventh floor of Oishei Children’s Hospital. The group’s task was to develop a New Era Cap that will be sold this fall as a fundraiser for the hospital. When a suggestion for a color change was made and appeared on the projection …

Bills

The Buffalo Bills added even more competition to their roster at tight end Monday by signing Lee Smith to a three-year contract. The deal, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, is worth up to $9 million. Smith, 31, returns to the Bills after previously spending four seasons with the team from 2011-14. He most recently was with the Oakland Raiders for four year…

Bills

It was a (checks calendar) chilly start to rookie minicamp Friday for The Buffalo News. A total of 54 drafted rookies, undrafted free-agent signings, first-year veterans and tryout players practiced outside on the grass fields at One Bills Drive on a day that felt more like November than May. Enough of my complaining, though, let's get to this week's mailbag ... Nick…

Bills

The Buffalo Bills suddenly have an opening on their quarterback depth chart after veteran Derek Anderson informed General Manager Brandon Beane on Thursday that he intends to retire. Anderson, who makes his offseason home in Arizona, had not participated in the team's offseason conditioning program to this point. In an interview with The Buffalo News, Beane confirmed th…

Bills

The Buffalo Bills have nearly their entire draft class under contract, a day before the start of rookie minicamp. The team announced Thursday evening that seven members of their eight-man draft class have been signed, highlighted by first-round pick Ed Oliver, the defensive tackle out of Houston. The others signed Thursday include Oklahoma offensive tackle Cody Ford …

Bills

UPDATED: According to reports, Benjamin Watson has decided to sign with the Patriots on a one-year deal. FROM EARLIER: The Buffalo Bills might not be done reshaping their depth chart at tight end. According to a report Thursday from ESPN's Adam Schefter, the team has expressed at least some interest in tight end Benjamin Watson, who after flirting with retirement …

Bills

As is customary after the NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills made some tweaks to their scouting department Tuesday. The team announced the promotion of Dennis Hickey to the position of senior national scout, and also hired A.J. Highsmith and Mike Szabo to serve as area scouts. Hickey, who previously served as a senior college scout, has been with the Bills for thre…

Bills

There’s usually no tackling for the Buffalo Bills in the spring. That NFL rule got broken more than a few times Monday, though. In conjunction with the league’s Inspire Change Initiative, six members of the team visited Bornhava, an Amherst-based early childhood center for children with developmental disabilities. The kids there had huge smiles on their faces as they to…