Bills place CB McGee on IR; Promote WR Easley

Bills place CB McGee on IR; Promote WR Easley

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Veteran cornerback Terrence McGee was placed on season-ending injured reserve and receiver Marcus Easley was promoted off the practice squad Tuesday after the Buffalo Bills made a series of moves to address their banged-up roster.

The Bills also placed starting right tackle Erik Pears (hip/groin) on injured reserve and released rookie kicker John Potter. That leaves Buffalo (3-5) with two roster spots left to fill as the team prepares to play at AFC East rival New England (5-3) on Sunday.

Easley's promotion means the Bills' 2010 fourth-round draft pick out of Connecticut will finally have a chance to make his NFL debut. Easley missed his entire rookie season because of a knee injury, and then missed all of last season because of a heart condition that has since been corrected.

Buffalo has a question mark at receiver with starter Stevie Johnson slowed after he bruised his right thigh in a 21-9 loss at Houston on Sunday. Coach Chan Gailey has said that while Johnson is expected to be limited in practice this week, he should be healthy to play against New England.

The Bills are already missing receiver David Nelson, who sustained a season-ending knee injury in Buffalo's 48-28 season-opening loss at the New York Jets.

Buffalo has lost four of its past five games, and its passing attack has particularly sputtered in its last four outings. It's a stretch during which quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has averaged 186 yards passing, with three touchdowns, two interceptions and two lost fumbles.

For McGee, it's the latest setback for the 10-year veteran who landed on IR for the third time in four years. McGee's been hampered by a left knee injury that had not fully healed since he had surgery this past offseason.

McGee's agent, Ron Raccuia, said his client will likely require a second operation, but expects him to be fully healthy to play next year.

McGee has one more year left on a contract he restructured in February to take into account the possibility he wouldn't be able to finish this season. In accepting a cut in guaranteed money, McGee agreed to a series of playing and performance-based incentives.

After missing much of training camp, McGee was limited in playing the first seven games this season before being held out last week after aggravating the injury to his left knee.

The Bills couldn't afford counting on McGee because starter Aaron Williams is expected to miss at least two weeks after hurting his right knee last weekend.

Pears, who started seven games this year, landed on IR a week after visiting a specialist to evaluate an injury that had not fully healed since he had offseason surgery. Gailey had warned last week that Pears could require a second operation.

Potter proved expendable because he was limited to handling kickoffs, a job that veteran Rian Lindell reclaimed the past two games. The Bills had used their second of two seventh-round draft picks to select Potter out of Western Michigan because of his strong leg and ability to kick the ball out of the end zone.

Potter's production had tailed off. Of 26 kickoffs, he managed 13 touchbacks, and only four in his final three games.

With two roster spots yet to fill, one option for Buffalo is activating tight end Mike Caussin, who had offseason surgery on his right knee. After opening this season on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list, Caussin resumed practicing last week and is eligible to be activated within the next two weeks.

In another move, the Bills signed receiver Chris Hogan to their practice squad. Listed at 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, Hogan split last season on the practice squads for the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins.


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Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

The Stanley Cup is not the only trophy that will be awarded at the end of the Stanley Cup Final series between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights. The Conn Smythe will also be given to the player deemed the most valuable to his team during the playoffs.

Who will that player be?

It's not hard to figure out who the frontrunner is right now. Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't just been the best goalie in the playoffs, he's been the best player with a dominant postseason in which he has posted a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. He has been so dominant, he could win it even if Vegas loses the series.

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

The last player from the losing team to win the Conn Smythe was Jean-Sebastian Giguere from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003.

But what about the Caps?

Alex Ovechkin is the leader of Washington and has been absolutely dominant throughout the postseason. He even scored the series-clinching goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Surprisingly, however, Ovechkin does not lead the team in points through the playoffs. Evgeny Kuznetsov holds that edge with 24 points to Ovechkin's 22.

Will their offensive dominance propel them to win the Cup and the Conn Smythe? Will a different player emerge as the hero of the series?

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.


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Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

Associated Press

Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 26, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.  

Note: I am vacationing in the Outer Banks this week. In this space, I’ll be presenting some of the most popular posts of the last few months. I hope you enjoy these “best of” presentations and I’ll see you folks when I get back. 

Contract makes Alex Smith a Redskins for at least three seasons

This post was originally published on March 19. 

When the Redskins traded for Alex Smith on January 30, news also broke that he had agreed to a four-year extension with Washington in addition to the one year left on his contract with the Chiefs. While we got some top-line numbers on the deal, we have gone since then without any details. 

Until now. 

The details show a deal that has a slightly higher cap hit in 2018 than was on his original Chiefs contract and the numbers rise gradually over the life of the deal, which runs through 2022. 

Smith got a $27 million signing bonus and his salaries for 2018 ($13 million) and 2019 ($15 million) also are fully guaranteed at signing making the total $55 million (information via Over the Cap, which got data from a report by Albert Breer). 

But there I another $16 million that is guaranteed for all practical purposes. On the fifth day of the 2019 league year, his 2020 salary of $16 million becomes fully guaranteed. He almost assuredly will get to the point where that money will become guaranteed since the Redskins are not going to cut him after one year having invested $55 million in him. So the total guarantees come to $71 million. 

His 2021 salary is $19 million and it goes up to $21 million in 2022. There have been reports of some incentives available to Smith but since we have no details we’ll set those aside for now. 

The cap hits on the contract are as follows: 

2018: $18.4 million
2019: $20.0 million
2020: $21.4 million
2021: $24.4 million
2022: $26.4 million

The Redskins can realistically move on from Smith after 2020. There would be net cap savings of $13 million in 2021 and $21 million in 2022. 

The first impression of the deal is that the Redskins did not move on from Kirk Cousins because they didn’t want to guarantee a lot of money to a quarterback. The total practical guarantee of $71 million is second only to Cousins’ $82.5 million. It should be noted that Cousins’ deal runs for three years and Smith’s contract is for five. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler