As we return from vacation, offering some thoughts on Buffalo Bills news from the past week:
Donald Trump's continued interest: The biggest headline from the past week belonged to Trump, who reiterated his interest in buying the Bills in an interview with the Buffalo News. Trump had said in a radio interview last month that he had been contacted by a group looking to buy the team, and his intention would be to keep the franchise in Buffalo. The greatest takeaway from Trump's comments to the Buffalo News was that he would be willing to sell his casino interests in order to become an NFL owner, which league rules require. Still, it's too early to say how serious of a contender Trump will be to buy the team. For now, the most we can do is put him among potential buyers who would be against relocating the Bills.
Jeremy Jacobs angle cools off: This month, the Buffalo News reported Boston Bruins owner Jacobs "leads the list of potential local suitors" who could buy the Bills. The Buffalo native owns the Delaware North Companies, which issued a statement last week saying that Jacobs would not sell the Bruins in order to buy the Bills, as NFL rules would require. The possibility exists for another member of Jacobs' family to act as the principal owner for the purchase, but the company's statement indicates there might not be serious interest from Jacobs to buy the team.
Bon Jovi resurfaces: Last November, rock star Jon Bon Jovi made headlines when CBS Sports reported that he was interested in buying the Bills upon Ralph Wilson's death. His publicist told the Toronto Sun last week that Bon Jovi's interest in becoming an NFL owner is still real, but declined to link him directly to the Bills. The newspaper said Bon Jovi remains linked with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the group that owns most of Toronto's professional sports teams. It's a situation that could put the NFL in a bind: the league has expressed a desire to expand internationally and Toronto would be an ideal trial balloon to that end. Still, the NFL prefers teams not to relocate, and seeing their team move across Lake Ontario would be a blow to Bills fans in Western New York. This one bears close watching.
Preseason schedule released: The NFL released its preseason schedule last week, and as expected, the Bills will play their first three preseason games -- including the Hall of Fame game in Canton -- on the road. The Bills can start training camp as early as July 19, making for a long stretch at St. John Fisher College. For their second preseason game, the Bills will travel early, holding joint practices with the Pittsburgh Steelers at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. before heading to Heinz Field for their game. The Bills open their preseason in Charlotte against the Carolina Panthers -- don't expect to see much of Cam Newton in that game -- and close out their slate by hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions. The Buccaneers game should feature plenty of EJ Manuel and Mike Glennon, a rematch of last December's game in Tampa.
Jake Matthews, Austin Seferian-Jenkins visit: The Bills continued their slate of pre-draft visits last week, hosting Texas A&M offensive tackle Matthews on Wednesday, LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham on Thursday, and Washington tight end Seferian-Jenkins on Friday. The Bills could target Matthews with their ninth overall pick, while they would have to cross their fingers that Beckham slips to the second round. Seferian-Jenkins is expected to come off the board in the second round. The Bills also hosted Louisville linebacker Preston Brown, Cumberlands running back Terrance Cobb, Rice cornerback Phillip Gaines, Liberty cornerback Walt Aikens, and Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde last week. The team has now used 19 of its 30 pre-draft visits allotted by the NFL.
Basketball tryout: This is the time of year when NFL teams turn over every stone in search of talent, and the Bills are no different. WKBW in Buffalo reported Sunday that the Bills will host Canisius basketball player Chris Manhertz for a workout. This isn't uncommon, as NFL teams often check out prospects from other sports -- basketball, track, rugby, and Australian rules football -- and gauge their potential as football players. At 6-foot-6, 235 pounds, Manhertz would project as a tight end and would be a long shot to make the 53-man roster if he is signed.
Kourtnei Brown waived: The Bills waived defensive end Kourtnei Brown last week. He was injured for most of last preseason and was released during final cuts in August. He eventually returned to the practice squad and was re-signed to a future contract, but might not have been a good fit for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Coincidentally, Brown was claimed off waivers by the Detroit Lions, who fired Schwartz this year.
Jake Dombrowski signed: The Bills signed former Harvard punter Dombrowski last week to his first professional contract. He is to compete with veteran Brian Moorman in training camp. Moorman, 38, is nearing the end of the road and has already been released by the Bills once. They will continue to look for his replacement.