The Buffalo Bills aren't leaving western New York -- not if Jim Kelly has anything to say about it.
The Hall of Fame quarterback, making an autograph appearance at a shopping mall near Rochester, N.Y., said he is confident the Bills will not move in the foreseeable future, and hinted that a succession plan may already be in place.
"As long as I'm involved, I can't see them going anywhere else," Kelly said, according to the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester.
The team's owner and founder, Ralph Wilson, 89, has said he will not sell the team and will not leave it to his heirs when he dies. That has raised fears in Buffalo, a city which has been losing population for decades, that the team could be sold to the highest bidder and moved away after Wilson dies.
The team has also sought and received permission to play preseason and regular season games in nearby Toronto, with the goal of growing its fan base and corporate sponsor base in Canada's largest city.
But Kelly says the Bills won't be leaving town.
"One way or another, I will make sure this team stays here. I know people who are ready to step up," said Kelly, who led the Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls as the team's quarterback. "I think Mr. Wilson has the same vision I have, and that's to keep the team in western New York.
"The easy part is the money," he said. "I wish I could tell you more ... Unfortunately, I can't say much.
"I'm just going to say that I'm not worried about the Bills leaving and I live here."