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Moulds to Bills: 'Trade me or release me'

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Veteran star receiver Eric Moulds asked the Buffalo Bills on Monday to release or trade him, believing the team has no intention to keep him at his current salary.

"The Bills have put us in a position where we're at Option Z, and Option Z is to ask to be released," Moulds' personal adviser, Greg Johnson, told The Associated Press. "It's a sad day. And we wish things could've worked out, but it's just not working out."

Moulds, a 10-year veteran and the Bills' senior player, has two years left on his contract. He's scheduled to make about $7.1 million next season and count about $10.85 million against the salary cap.

Moulds twice has rejected the team's request to take what Johnson referred to as "a substantial pay cut." Johnson said the two sides are at a stalemate in finding other ways to reduce the player's salary cap hit.

"We feel like we're absolutely going nowhere," said Johnson, adding he also would consider the team trading Moulds. "We respectfully disagree with the Buffalo Bills."

Bills general manager Marv Levy said in a statement: "Our intention remains to keep Eric as a part of our team."

Moulds did not immediately return a message left at his home.

Johnson said it's his opinion that Moulds has played his last game for the Bills. He didn't rule out Moulds refusing to attend the team's spring minicamp sessions.

Johnson said he first asked the Bills to release Moulds during conversations with team officials on Friday. He delayed going public with the announcement to see if there were any developments during the first days of the NFL's free agency period, which opened Saturday.

The Bills signed three free agents over the weekend, including receiver Andre' Davis, a four-year veteran who spent last season with New England. Although he's had 23 starts in 48 career games, Davis is expected to compete for a secondary job behind Lee Evans, who would become the Bills' top receiver if Moulds was released.

Johnson said he believes the Bills are going to release Moulds at some point this offseason and he would rather have the team make the move now to allow the player to begin searching for a new team.

"I think Eric is due that respect by the Buffalo Bills," Johnson said. "We need to find out what his fair market value is and we're going to determine that by finding what other teams out there are willing to pay him. ... We'll never determine that if we just continue to go back and forth with the Buffalo Bills."

NFL teams generally attempt to fill their rosters in the first month of free agency, leaving them with less money to spend under the cap later in the offseason.

Moulds, who ranks second in numerous franchise receiving categories, would become the highest-profile receiver on the free agent market this offseason.

He's coming off a down season, in part because of Buffalo's overall offensive struggles, but still led the team with 81 catches for 816 yards in 15 games. He was suspended for one game by former coach Mike Mularkey for conduct detrimental to the team after an apparent sideline dispute with an assistant coach.

The suspension, which came in Week 14, didn't affect Moulds' performance down the stretch. He returned in top form, finishing with 27 catches for 305 yards and a touchdown in the final three games.

Buffalo's first-round pick in the 1996 draft, Moulds has been a full-time starter since his third season. In 154 games, he has 675 catches for 9,096 yards and 48 touchdowns. Only Andre Reed has more catches (941) and yards (13,095) among Bills receivers.