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  • Bills' McGahee wants trade if he's not starting

    Aug. 20, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Running back Willis McGahee has asked the Buffalo Bills to trade him if he is not their starter on opening day, a source told The Associated Press on Friday.

    McGahee's request was not issued as an ultimatum, but the player made clear he won't be happy playing backup to incumbent Travis Henry, said the source, who is close to McGahee, and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold said, "There is no truth to that whatsoever."

    McGahee was not available for comment, as the Bills were off Friday in preparation for Saturday's preseason game against Tennessee. McGahee's agent Drew Rosenhaus declined comment.

    After hosting Tennessee, the Bills close their preseason with two road games in preparation for their season-opener against Jacksonville on Sept. 12.

    Questions about how the two running backs can work together have been raised since the Bills selected McGahee 23rd overall in the 2003 draft.

    Henry is now coming off his second consecutive 1,000-yard season while McGahee missed his entire rookie season recovering from reconstructive surgery on his left knee.

    The former Miami star was considered a top-three pick before he was hurt in his final college game, the Hurricanes' loss to Ohio State in the national championship, the 2003 Fiesta Bowl.

    Rookie coach Mike Mularkey has said that both players can work together this season, but has maintained that Henry is his starter.

    That's been evident through camp, where Henry has worked exclusively with the starting unit, while McGahee has worked mostly with the second string.

    McGahee has looked good so far.

    In his preseason debut, he had 13 carries for 58 yards, a 9-yard reception, and scored the go-ahead touchdown from the 1, in Buffalo's 16-6 win over Denver last Sunday. McGahee also shone, scoring four touchdowns from within 2 yards, during a controlled scrimmage against Cleveland earlier this month.

    While Henry and McGahee refer to themselves friends, theirs has been an uneasy relationship.

    Henry initially called the Bills decision to draft McGahee as a slap in the face.

    He's since backed off that claim, saying the two can work together.

    Henry, however, has previously said that he's not prepared to be a backup to McGahee. Henry has also said that he expects one of them to be traded after the end of this season.

    Henry is signed through the 2005 season. McGahee has four years left on a contract that could potentially be worth $15.53 million if he meets all the incentives.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

  • #2
    Re: Bills' McGahee wants trade if he's not starting

    Man, we've got it good. This story could have very easily been about Faulk & Jackson, but it's not. I'm glad to see our two feature backs working together instead of demanding trades if the other one starts.

    McGahee's request was not issued as an ultimatum, but the player made clear he won't be happy playing backup to incumbent Travis Henry, said the source, who is close to McGahee, and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
    Come on Drew, you're not fooling anyone.
    McGahee's agent Drew Rosenhaus declined comment.
    ...don't you mean declined another comment?
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Bills' McGahee wants trade if he's not starting

      The Bills Say McGahee Has Told Them He's Not Looking For A Trade

      Paul Hamilton - Friday, August 20, 2004 - 3:45 PM

      Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550)- The Bills have told WGR Sports Radio 550 that there is no truth what so ever to the AP story that Willis McGahee wants to be traded if he's not the Bills number one running back. The Bills say they have spoken to McGahee and he told them he has never said that and he doesn't know anything about it.

      McGahee's agent is not commenting leading to speculation that the report may be coming out of South Florida. The day after Ricky Williams retired from the Dolphins, there were published reports in Miami that the Dolphins had contacted the Bills about Travis Henry. Bills General Manager Tom Donahoe said right away that they never called.

      McGahee has told me repeatedly in the spring and summer that he'll do what ever the Bills ask of him and he's satisfied with the way the Bills have brought him along.

      McGahee said after Sunday's game that he hasn't taken it to the next gear while running and is taking things slowly. It would be hard to hand him Henry's job before he's running one hundred percent.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Bills' McGahee wants trade if he's not starting

        McGahee's agent is not commenting leading to speculation that the report may be coming out of South Florida.
        Rosenhaus wants his boy in Drew's backyard taking R. Williams spot with the Dolphins. Slick Drew doesn't want to travel to Buffalo on a regular basis if he can just stick around Miami instead.
        The more things change, the more they stay the same.

        Comment

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        • DJRamFan
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          ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- Ever since he was hurt, hardly a day has gone by without someone asking Willis McGahee about his left knee.

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          "How many times? I don't even keep track of that, anymore," the Buffalo Bills' running back said. "It's nothing new to me."

          Soon, McGahee hopes to put all the questions to rest by showing what he can do on the field. His long wait is nearly over, some 18 months after his college career at Miami ended abruptly when he blew out his knee in the Fiesta Bowl.

          He's passed the physicals, done every drill and made it through a month of minicamp practices this spring without a hitch.

          "I'm anxious for the first game," McGahee said. "I've got the jitters. I want to play."

          All that's left is for him to brace for that first hit, the one that only comes in competition against a fully-padded opponent. It's the kind of jolt that will test his knee's strength -- as much as it will his mind's resolve -- to determine whether he's ready to play football again.

          The Bills are off until they report for training camp in suburban Rochester on July 31; their preseason opener is Aug. 15 against Denver.

          As a sophomore in 2002, he was the nation's best running back and considered a top-three pick in the 2003 draft after he set Miami records by scoring 28 touchdowns and rushing for 1,753 yards. The national championship game, in which Miami lost to Ohio State, was supposed to be McGahee's send-off.

          It instead turned out to become his biggest test. In the second half, and with Miami beginning to rally, McGahee went down following a crushing hit.

          Two days later, he had surgery to repair three ligaments, including one that required major reconstruction. A day after that, his rehabilitation began with a few excruciating leg lifts that made him cry out in pain.

          By March, McGahee was jogging and in April, the Bills drafted him 23rd overall.

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