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pakowitz 03-07-2003 12:34 PM

Price now a falcon, spikes in love with Buffalo!?!
Bills-Falcons | Price Trade A Done Deal - posted at KFFL (
8:41 PT: Len Pasquarelli reports for the Atlanta Falcons and the Buffalo Bills have agreed to a deal that would send WR Peerless Price to Atlanta for the 23rd pick in April's NFL draft. The deal still must be approved by the NFL

Bills | Spikes Impressed - posted at KFFL (
10:15 PT: Updating earlier stories, reports free agent LB Takeo Spikes (Bengals) is very impressed with the Buffalo Bills' professionalism. "It's going well right now," Spikes said. "I'm just finishing up on some of my visits, visiting around with all the personnel staff and everybody. I'm very impressed with everything I see."

pakowitz 03-07-2003 12:41 PM

Price now a falcon, spikes in love with Buffalo!?!
Price heading to Falcons, pending NFL approval

By Len Pasquarelli

ATLANTA -- After nearly two weeks of haggling with the Buffalo Bills, and with agent Tim McGee as well, the Atlanta Falcons finally decided on Friday morning that Peerless Price is right for them. has learned that the Falcons have agreed in principle to send their first-round choice in this year\'s draft, the 23rd overall selection, to the Bills in exchange for Price. Although the Falcons have scheduled a Friday afternoon news conference to announce the acquisition of Price, the deal still must be approved by the league.

Because the Bills designated Price a \"franchise\" free agent, Buffalo must technically sign the wide receiver to the contract negotiated by Atlanta, and then transfer to the deal to the Falcons. In essence, it is similar to the kind of sign-and-trade deals more typically seen in the NBA.

League approval is considered academic by both teams involved.

While complete details of the contract Price will sign with the Falcons were not yet available, has learned it is a seven-year deal and includes a $10 million signing bonus. This will mark the second time in two weeks the Falcons have signed a player to a contract that included a signing bonus of $10 million or more, the team having retained middle linebacker Keith Brooking with $10.6 million in upfront money.

The contract includes stipulations that will allow the seventh year to void if Price achieves predetermined playing time levels.

The steep price for Price aside, the Falcons desperately needed a deep threat for quarterback Michael Vick, and the emerging Buffalo star was a player the club targeted months ago. The Falcons haven\'t had a true burner since Tony Martin in the team\'s 1998 Super Bowl season.

Until Friday morning, however, the Falcons had declined to meet the asking price of Buffalo general manager Tom Donahoe, who would not have made the trade unless he got a first-round choice in return.

Buffalo did not have a pick in the first round of this year\'s draft, having dealt it to New England last spring for quarterback Drew Bledsoe. The Bills adamantly wanted to recoup that first-round choice and used Price as the bait for doing so.

In fact, part of the reason the Bills assigned the \"franchise\" marker to their talented young wide receiver, rather than permit him to exit in free agency, was to gain something in return for him via a trade.

The four-year veteran enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2002, posting 94 catches for 1,252 yards and nine touchdowns. The former Tennessee star was a second-round choice in the 1999 draft. For his career, he has played in 64 games and started 52 of them. He has 232 receptions for 3,302 yards and 22 touchdowns.

There is no small degree of irony attached to the acquisition of Price and, had the Falcons made a better call in the second round of the \'99 draft, they would have had him then. In that draft, Atlanta dealt its first-round pick in 2000 to Baltimore for the Ravens\' second-round choice in 1999. Most felt the trade was being made so that the Falcons could grab Price, who was still on the board at the time.

Instead, the Falcons chose tight end Reggie Kelly, who is probably going to exit Atlanta in free agency in the next few days. had learned that, before Friday morning, the Falcons had offered only their second-round pick in this year\'s draft or their first-round choice in 2004. Donahoe was holding firm on his price of a 2003 first-rounder.

Donahoe had to Atlanta officials that, without a first-round pick, he would simply retain Price for 2003 under the \"franchise\" marker and pay him the one-year qualifying offer of $5.01 million if necessary.

Talks between the Bills and McGee on a longer-term contract had proven fruitless before free agency. Price, in fact, had made it clear that he wanted to play in Atlanta, where he makes his offseason home, and had declined to visit with any other franchises.

Atlanta officials had hinted to some other teams in the league that, if they could finish a trade for Price, they might pursue Jets restricted free agent Laveranues Coles. But the Jets made a qualifying offer to Coles at the first-round level. That meant Atlanta would have had to compensate the Jets with a first-rounder if it signed Coles and New York didn\'t match the offer sheet.

It was easier, the Falcons finally concluded Friday, to simply send the first-round choice to Buffalo to complete a Price deal

Fantasy Focus

Price was fantasy\'s seventh-best wideout last year and will continue to be a top 10 wideout with the Falcons. He\'ll likely become Atlanta\'s first 1,000-yard receiver since Terance Mathis in 1999. In fact, Mathis was the last Falcon wideout to score double digit touchdowns when he had 11 in 1998. Look for Price to be the featured receiver as Brian Finneran, Trevor Gaylor and Quentin McCord are better suited in secondary receiving roles. None has the combination of speed, hands and skills like Price. The effect on Michael Vick should be key as well. Vick finished only 19th in passing yards (2,936) and touchdown passes (16) among all quarterbacks. The addition of Price gives Vick a reliable wideout and a go-to receiver. Look for his passing stats to increase as he develops a rapport with Price. This trade transforms Vick into fantasy\'s No. 1 quarterback. Look for Vick to set career highs in passing yards and touchdown passes.

Overall, look for Price to match last year\'s stats of 1,252 yards and nine touchdowns. He falls into the second class of receivers with David Boston, Joe Horn and Eric Moulds behind the terrific trio of Marvin Harrison, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens.

-- Roger Rotter, Fantasy editor

nocloning 03-07-2003 01:03 PM

Price now a falcon, spikes in love with Buffalo!?!
Clarificatio needed: What does it mean when a team makes a \"qualifying offer at the first-round level\" to a player? How is the level determined? Is it only the money a player is about to make or are there other stipulations?
The Pirce-deal - certainly not good as it gives the Falcons their deep threat AND the Bills more money to sign Spikes, but you could see it coming since last December. Still, let\'s see what Vick does with that new weapon. His accuracy on the long throws isn\'t that great, a few interceptions in the first games might discourage him from using Price too much. I don\'t expect Price to have a 1,000 yards season. As always, we\'ll see.

pakowitz 03-07-2003 01:12 PM

Price now a falcon, spikes in love with Buffalo!?!
ok, to clarify the term \"qualifying offer at the first-round level\", talking about lavernous coles, he is a restricted free agent, the jets offered him a contract at about 1.6 million for 1 year, which is the qualifying offer at the first-round level. meaning if someone other then the jets were to sign him, that team would owe the jets a first round pick

just like last year, jake delhomme was a restricted free agent for us, we offered him a qualifying offer at the first-round level so anyone who would have signed him last year would have owed us a first round draft pick

nocloning 03-07-2003 03:07 PM

Price now a falcon, spikes in love with Buffalo!?!

Restricted free agents: CB Michael Hawthorne (tendered at $605,000 with 6th-round pick as compensation; Saints will look at him as a safety, but there are doubts about whether he can make the transition); RB Curtis Keaton (tendered at $605,000 with 4th-round pick as compensation; Saints think he can help as backup given a full offseason to learn offense); FB Terrelle Smith (tendered at $605,000 with 4th-round pick as compensation; could draw interest from other teams, he can be a devastating blocker but not much else).
Why would Hawthorne only get the Saints a 6th round pick and the other two a 4th rounder? The money is the same ...

pakowitz 03-08-2003 10:45 AM

Price now a falcon, spikes in love with Buffalo!?!
b/c that was the round that they were drafted in..

nocloning 03-08-2003 01:40 PM

Price now a falcon, spikes in love with Buffalo!?!
So it has nothing to do with the money they were offered? Offering a higher deal would not mean getting a higher pick as compensation?

pakowitz 03-09-2003 02:54 PM

Price now a falcon, spikes in love with Buffalo!?!
actually it does, there are several different types of tenders a club can offer, the min. which is 605,000, in which, if a player were to sign elsewhere, his new team would owe his former team a draft pick from the round which he was originally drafted, for example, terrell smith was drafted by us in the 4th round, we offered min, if someone were to sign him they would owe us a 4th round pick, but if he signs with us, it would only be a one year deal. now if we were to have tendered him at a higher level then the draft pick compensation would have been higher

nocloning 03-10-2003 06:16 AM

Price now a falcon, spikes in love with Buffalo!?!
Thanks for clearing that up.

pakowitz 03-10-2003 06:57 PM

Price now a falcon, spikes in love with Buffalo!?!
no problem, always glad to help a fellow saints fan....

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