McGahee's request was not issued as an ultimatum, but the player
made clear he won't be happy playing backup to incumbent Travis Henry,
said the source, who is close to McGahee and spoke on the
condition of anonymity.
Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold said, "There is no truth to
Team president Tom Donahoe later denied the report, too.
"There's nothing to it," said Donahoe, who was at
Philadelphia's preseason game against Baltimore on Friday night.
"Willis is making progress and is very happy. We have no intention
of trading him. We need them both."
McGahee was not available for comment, as the Bills were off
Friday in preparation for Saturday's preseason game against
Tennessee. McGahee's agent Drew Rosenhaus declined comment.
After hosting Tennessee, the Bills close their preseason with
two road games in preparation for their season-opener against
Jacksonville on Sept. 12.
Questions about how the two running backs can work together have
been raised since the Bills selected McGahee 23rd overall in the
Henry is now coming off his second consecutive 1,000-yard season
while McGahee missed his entire rookie season recovering from
reconstructive surgery on his left knee.
The former Miami star was considered a top-three pick before he
was hurt in his final college game, the Hurricanes' loss to Ohio
State in the national championship, the 2003 Fiesta Bowl.
Rookie coach Mike Mularkey has said that both players can work
together this season, but has maintained that Henry is his starter.
That's been evident throughout camp, where Henry has worked
exclusively with the starting unit while McGahee has worked mostly
with the second string.
McGahee has looked good so far.
In his preseason debut, he had 13 carries for 58 yards, a 9-yard
reception, and scored the go-ahead touchdown from the 1, in
Buffalo's 16-6 win over Denver last Sunday. McGahee also shone,
scoring four touchdowns from within 2 yards, during a controlled
scrimmage against Cleveland earlier this month.
While Henry and McGahee refer to themselves as friends, theirs has
been an uneasy relationship.
Henry initially called the Bills decision to draft McGahee a
slap in the face.
He's since backed off that claim, saying the two can work
Henry, however, has previously said that he's not prepared to be
a backup to McGahee. Henry has also said that he expects one of
them to be traded after the end of this season.
Henry is signed through the 2005 season. McGahee has four years
left on a contract that could potentially be worth $15.53 million
if he meets all the incentives.