Bills sign RG Urbik to 4-year contract extension

Bills sign RG Urbik to 4-year contract extension

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Bills took the first step in securing their offensive line's long-term future by signing starting right guard Kraig Urbik to a four-year contract extension on Tuesday.

The deal locks up Urbik through 2016 and is worth $13.3 million, including a $3.5 million signing bonus for this season, a person familiar with the contract told The Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team did not reveal the length or monetary terms of the contract.

It's a significant raise for a fourth-year player, who had signed a $1.26 million contract tender in April. Urbik is set to make a base salary of $2.05 million next year and $2.9 million in 2016, the person said. He's also eligible to make additional money through roster and workout bonuses, and playing-time incentives.

Urbik is completing his third year with the Bills, who claimed him off waivers in September 2010 after he was released by Pittsburgh. The Steelers had selected Urbik in the third round out of Wisconsin in the 2009 draft.

Listed at 6-foot-5 and 324 pounds, Urbik has provided a steadying and versatile presence since moving into a starting role last season. He's played both guard and center, and has 26 starts - including 11 this season - in 34 games with Buffalo.

The signing came with Buffalo (5-9) set to close out its season with two meaningless games after being eliminated from playoff contention for a 13th straight year. The Bills play at Miami (6-8) on Sunday, and then host New York Jets (6-8) on Dec. 30.

Later in the day, the Bills made a number of roster moves, including placing starting receiver Donald Jones on the reserve/non-football illness list. The Bills did not reveal the nature of the illness.

Jones' agent, Cliff LaBoy, said the illness is not serious, and is related to a calf injury that forced his client to miss two of the past three games. Jones first began experiencing tightness in his calf last month, and was held out of a 34-18 win over Jacksonville on Dec. 2.

Jones is third on the team with 41 catches for 443 yards and four touchdowns.

His injury further depletes the Bills at receiver. Coach Chan Gailey has already ruled out reserve Marcus Easley from playing this weekend after he hurt a hamstring in a 50-17 loss to Seattle on Sunday.

The Bills also placed reserve linebacker Arthur Moats on season-ending injured reserve after he hurt his ankle last weekend.

Buffalo filled the two open roster spots by promoting receiver Chris Hogan and linebacker Greg Lloyd from its practice squad.

With Urbik locked up, the Bills can now turn their attention on securing two more starting linemen.

Left guard Andy Levitre, who has been the line's most consistent player, is completing the final year of his contract. Center Eric Wood has one year left on his deal.

Though open to re-signing with the Bills, Levitre said last week that he was unaware of any contract talks taking place.

The Bills have spent the past three seasons revamping their line, which also includes left tackle, Cordy Glenn, a rookie second-round pick.

The line allowed an AFC-low 23 sacks last season and helped the Bills finish with 1,921 yards rushing - the team's highest total since 2000. This season, the Bills are tied for seventh in the AFC with 28 sacks, and feature the NFL's sixth best rushing attack.

The Bills have also been in negotiations to re-sign starting safety Jairus Byrd, who is in the final year of his contract. With five interceptions, Byrd is tied for the AFC lead and is tied for seventh in the NFL. He's also forced three fumbles and recovered two.

Buffalo filled its two practice squad openings by signing receiver Kevin Elliott and linebacker Brian Smith. Elliott had 10 catches for 108 yards in 13 games with Jacksonville before being released last weekend. Smith played two games with Cleveland last season.


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5 must-see moments from Wizards' important win over Pacers, including Kelly Oubre's big dunk

5 must-see moments from Wizards' important win over Pacers, including Kelly Oubre's big dunk

Here are five plays or moments from the Wizards' 109-102 win over the Pacers on Saturday night that are worth revisiting... 

1. The Wizards took care of business against the Pacers on Saturday night and in doing so earned an important advantage in the playoff race. They won the season series and therefore own a tiebreaker for playoff seeding and currently that would mean home court advantage in the first round if the playoffs began today.

The Wizards took control early and part of that effort were five first-half assists by Bradley Beal. He ended up with 19 points, but some of his best plays were passes.

On this one, he executed a perfect pick-and-roll with Marcin Gortat:


2. This was another pretty pass to Gortat. Tomas Satoransky, who had 12 points and eight assists, fed Gortat with a nice reach-around pass on a play that featured some impressive ball movement overall:

3. This was a great moment. The Wizards had a member of the military surprise his niece on the court. She literally did not see it coming:


4. These last two plays are dunks by Kelly Oubre, Jr., who finished with 16 points. On this play, he cut through the and threw down with authority:

5. This dunk was set up by a beautiful pass from Ramon Sessions. It traveled about three-quarters of the court and Oubre did the rest:

The Wizards now have three days off before their next game as they sit fourth in the Eastern Conference. Things are trending positive for the Wizards as the playoff race heats up.

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Wizards take out Pacers to earn important advantage in playoff seeding

Wizards take out Pacers to earn important advantage in playoff seeding

The Washington Wizards beat the Indiana Pacers 109-102 on Saturday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Important victory: Saturday night's game between the Wizards and Pacers had several layers of playoff implications on the line and it was Washington who rose to the occasion and showed the urgency commensurate for the stakes.

By beating the Pacers, the Wizards locked up the season series between the teams, two games to one. That gives them the tiebreaker for playoff seeding if the teams finish the regular season with the same record. That could very well prove paramount. As of now, the Wizards and Pacers have the same record (40-30) with 12 games to go.

The season series advantage means the Wizards are above the Pacers in the standings despite having the same record. They moved into fourth place in the East with the win and the Cavs slotted back into third. There will likely be a lot more movement as these next few weeks play out, but the Wizards now hold an important edge over the Pacers.

The win also pushed the Wizards to 14-8 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury. Wall could return this coming week or the week after and the Wizards have more than stayed afloat during his absence.

The Wizards' magic number to make the playoffs is now just five. 


Sato went off: The Wizards jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter mostly thanks to a hot start from Tomas Satoransky, who scored the Wizards' first five points and had 10 by the end of the first quarter.

Satoransky's floater was automatic. He dropped in several in the lane from all different angles. Satoransky was practicing the same shots, floaters off each foot, the day before in practice and it paid off.

It was a well-rounded night for Satoransky. In addition to his 12 points, he also had eight assists and five rebounds, including this one to find Marcin Gortat for the dunk:

Gortat came up big: Speaking of Gortat, the Wizards' big man had one of his best games of the season. He poured in 18 points to go along with eight rebounds, four assists a steal and a block. Gortat shot 6-for-8, consistently having his way on the block.

The Pacers were without two of their best big men in Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis and Gortat took advantage of that. He was way too much for Al Jefferson.

The Pacers tried to roll with small-ball lineups using Trevor Booker and Thaddeus Young as their big men, but it didn't work. Gortat was too big for them and his teammates did a great job finding him for open looks.

Gortat's 18 points were his most since Jan. 3 when he had a season-high 21 against the Knicks. Lately, Gortat has seen his minutes dwindle with the increased role for Ian Mahinmi, so Saturday night must have felt good for the Polish Machine.


Bojan held in check: Bojan Bogdanovic, who spent part of last season with the Wizards, was a major factor in the first two matchups between Washington and the Pacers this season. He had 20 points in one game and 29 in another, each time getting hot from three.

The Wizards, though, made some adjustments in this one and held Bo Buckets in check. He didn't make his first shot until nearly the midway point of the second quarter and it was only because Kelly Oubre, Jr. (16 points, 18 minutes) lost his balance. Oubre stumbled backward, giving Bogdanovic a split second to get off an open three. That was the only shot he hit in the first half as he began the game 1-for-4.

Oubre did a good job harrassing Bogdanovic and not giving him space on the premiter. Otto Porter (eight points) and Bradley Beal (19 points) did as well. Both Porter and Beal stripped the ball out of Bogdanovic's hands early in the third quarter. Midway through the third, Bogdanovic got past Porter only to be called for an offensive foul on a collision with Gortat. All in all, it was a frustrating night for Bogdanovic, who had 11 points, three below his season average.

Bogdanovic is a very good shooter and when he's hot can alter games. But when you take his shots away, there's not much else he can do to hurt you. The Wizards did a good job taking away his strengths and making others beat them. Not having to focus on Turner and Sabonis certainly helped. 

Sessions is still in the rotation: It turns out those five games for Ramon Sessions over the course of his second 10-day contract weren't just an audition. Now that he has been signed for the rest of the season, Sessions is still getting the nod over Tim Frazier as the backup point guard.

Sessions logged 18 minutes and even played alongside Satoransky and Jodie Meeks in the fourth quarter. The Wizards had a sizable lead and head coach Scott Brooks decided to experiment with his lineups. That is something to keep in mind for when Wall comes back. Once he does, Sessions will be the third point guard and likely rarely see the court. But if they see something they like about him at shooting guard, that could open the door for more playing time possibilities.

Up next: The Wizards have three off-days before their next game. That will be on Wednesday when they head to San Antonio to face the Spurs. Tipoff is at 9:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. Pregame coverage begins at 8:30 p.m. with Wizards HangTime.

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