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Friday, March 6, 2009
RB interest doesn't mean Bills are done with Lynch


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Based on the players they've hosted so far, a third running back and a linebacker are the Buffalo Bills' top unresolved needs in free agency.

Another running back the Bills brought to Orchard Park signed with somebody else Friday. Kevin Jones decided to remain with the Chicago Bears. The Bills previously hosted Fred Taylor, who chose the New England Patriots. DeShaun Foster has visited but remains unsigned.

Many see the Bills poking around at available running backs and wonder what this means for Marshawn Lynch, who could be facing a suspension. The NFL will take last summer's hit-and-run incident into account when deciding the proper punishment for Lynch's conviction for carrying a concealed weapon.

The Bills, however, are not thinking about unloading Lynch. The sentiment at One Bills Drive is he has made two mistakes, neither of which was worth waivers. Rest assured, Lynch is on a short leash, but the Bills haven't reached their breaking point.

Then why do the Bills need a third running back if they're keeping Lynch and have Fred Jackson?

The biggest reason is Lynch's likely suspension. The Bills will need someone to help Jackson carry the load, and they're not sold on Xavier Omon, who probably deserved to be cut last year but made the team as a rookie because Dwayne Wright couldn't hold onto the ball.

Whatever punishment NFL commissioner Roger Goodell dishes out will be served at the beginning of the season, and the Bills can't afford to get off to a slow start.

As for linebacker, free-agent visits so far have included Mike Peterson, Cato June, Freddy Keiaho and Jamie Winborn. All of them remain unsigned.

The Bills have hosted two receivers -- Laveranues Coles and Joey Galloway -- but haven't met with more than one player at any other position.