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Bob_R
04-28-2004, 03:30 PM
Bledsoe Renegotiates Contract With Bills
Tue Apr 27, 7:46 PM


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Drew Bledsoe renegotiated his contract with the Bills on Tuesday, giving Buffalo nearly $4 million in salary cap relief.

The new three-year deal, which includes some incentive bonuses, will replace the old contract the Bills assumed when they acquired Bledsoe from New England in 2002. That original deal had seven years remaining on it, including a $7 million bonus due Bledsoe in November.

The Bills will no longer have to pay that bonus.

"Drew made some concessions for this year and the next couple of years," Bills president Tom Donahoe said. "It's not just about shuffling money."

The 11-year veteran was scheduled to make a base salary of $5.9 million this season, a figure that would balloon to $12 million in 2008.

"This is something I'm really excited about," Bledsoe said on a conference call Tuesday. "At this point in my life, having a little extra money isn't going to make a big change in my life. This allows us to have stability, both personally and within the organization."

Bledsoe admitted he was hesitant to restructure the original deal, saying he was initially willing to risk being cut two months into the season if he wasn't performing.

But after realizing the potential negativity of the $7 million bonus looming over the organization throughout the summer and into the fall, Bledsoe sought out Donahoe.

"I know it would have been a distraction, one way or the other," Bledsoe said. "I've learned over my career that the more you can alleviate distractions the better off you are."

The renegotiation comes after Buffalo traded for a first-round pick in the NFL draft on Saturday to select Tulane quarterback J.P. Losman. The team hopes to groom Losman as Bledsoe's successor.

Besides dealing away their first-round pick next year, the Bills also sent two a second- and fifth-rounder in last weekend's draft to Dallas for the Cowboys' No. 22 overall pick.

"I'll do everything I can to teach him and help him along and help him develop as a quarterback," Bledsoe said about Losman. "There certainly won't be any information withheld from him by me."

Despite selecting Losman, the Bills maintained Bledsoe is their starter heading into next season.

"We still have great confidence in Drew, and we've told Drew that," Donahoe said. "But we have to prepare for tomorrow."

Bledsoe was supposed to be the team's quarterback for the long-term future when Buffalo acquired him from New England. He was strong in his first season in Buffalo, setting 10 franchise passing records and helping the Bills to an 8-8 finish - a big turnaround for a team that won only three games in 2001.

His production tailed off miserably last season with the worst numbers in his 11-year career. The Bills finished 30th in offense and Bledsoe took most of the blame for Buffalo's disappointing 6-10 finish.

"None of us were happy with how things went last year," Bledsoe said. "But I believe strongly and with confidence that we are going to be a very good football team this year that's going to be very hard for people to handle."

Lou
04-28-2004, 04:06 PM
What do you want to bet Drew Bledsoe will be riding the bench by the end of the year?

DLRismydad
04-28-2004, 04:27 PM
Originally posted by Lou
What do you want to bet Drew Bledsoe will be riding the bench by the end of the year?

Id bet a couple hundred.