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Saturday, February 21, 2009
Bills CB Greer headed to open market


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Buffalo Bills aren't stoked by the idea, but they're prepared to move on without cornerback Jabari Greer.

  Greer

An NFL source close to negotiations told me Saturday morning that the Bills and Greer's agent, Mark Bloom, aren't in the same area code on financial terms. The Bills have offered five years and $20 million, but Greer is looking for closer to $7 million or $8 million depending on the length of the contract and guarantees.

What hurt the Bills' chances of re-signing Greer was Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kelvin Hayden re-signing Thursday for five years, $43 million.

Greer is the Bills' most important free agent, but it looks like they'll lose him. He's one of the top five most attractive free-agent cornerbacks and would do much better on the open market than what the Bills are offering.

"I'm excited about the opportunity of my life," Greer said. "I'm in position to have the opportunity to evaluate what I'm worth. It'll be fun. I'm interested to see what other teams are going to do.

"It's kind of like being recruited in college all over again. I'll be visiting teams. They'll be interviewing me. I feel fortunate to be in this situation. It makes me feel young again."

If they can't close the gap in negotiations, it will be a positive development for Buffalo's other starting cornerback, Terrence McGee, who is entering the final year of his contract.

The Bills viewed Greer and McGee as an either-or proposition with two players from last year's draft, Leodis McKelvin and Reggie Corner, emerging on the depth chart.

Greer missed six games with a knee injury last year, but started all 10 of the other games at right corner after fending off McKelvin, the 11th overall draft choice, in training camp. Greer had 43 tackles and two interceptions, returning both for touchdowns. He defensed nine passes and forced a fumble.