Aug 28, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; A Buffalo Bills fan holds up a sign for quarterback Josh Allen (not pictured) and wide receiver Stefon Diggs (not pictured) prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Bills submit paperwork for new stadium by 2027

The stadium proposal to give the Buffalo Bills a new home in Orchard Park, N.Y., calls for completion by 2027, according to multiple reports on Tuesday.

Bills ownership, headed by Terry and Kim Pegula, have submitted plans for a $1.4 billion, 60,000-seat stadium to state and Erie County.

The number of seats is about 12,000 fewer than Highmark Stadium, the stadium in Orchard Park that has been home to the Bills since 1973.

According to reports, Pegula Sports and Entertainment is seeking public money to cover the majority of costs.

The Bills’ lease at Highmark Stadium expires in July of 2023. The Pegula group has expressed that it won’t negotiate a lease extension on Highmark Stadium until a new stadium deal is in place.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently said the Bills need a new stadium funded by a public/private partnership.

“You’ve got to think long-term here,” Goodell told the media at Bills legend Jim Kelly’s celebrity golf tournament on Aug. 23 in Buffalo. “This has been going on for decades, and it’s time to get a new stadium done that we can make sure the Bills are here and successful for many, many decades going forward.”

The proposed site for a new stadium in Orchard Park is close to Highmark Stadium, which has gone by a variety of names over the years, including Rich Stadium, Ralph Wilson Stadium and New Era Field.

The Bills, behind star quarterback Josh Allen, open the upcoming season at home on Sept. 12 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

–Field Level Media

Jun 15, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie (19) catches a pass during minicamp at the ADPRO Sports Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Bills WR Isaiah McKenzie gets vaccinated after fine

Two days after Isaiah McKenzie was fined nearly $15,000 for violating the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols, the Buffalo Bills wide receiver shared an image on social media showing he had received his first vaccine shot.

McKenzie shared the image in an Instagram story with the caption, “For the greater good.”

McKenzie, 26, has 79 catches for 744 yards and six touchdowns in 50 career games (16 starts) with the Denver Broncos (2017-18) and Bills.

His post Thursday said that he and fellow Bills receiver Cole Beasley had been fined and would be subject to additional discipline for repeat violations, NFL Network reported.

The letter from the NFL posted by McKenzie said that he failed to wear a mask at least twice on Wednesday, once while walking through the indoor fieldhouse and into the training room, and again while in the meeting area of the weight room.

Potential discipline could stretch up to a four-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team under the repeat offenders provision in the NFL’s COVID-19 policy agreed upon by the NFLPA.

Beasley, who has been vocal in his anti-vaccine stance, did not disclose the amount of his fine. NFL Network reported it was for the same $14,650.

After a member of the Bills training staff, who was vaccinated, tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, four Bills players were identified as close contacts and required to sit out five days. McKenzie was not one of those players. Beasley, receiver Gabriel Davis and defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Vernon Butler were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

The NFL said Thursday that 120 players across the league have received warning letters and 25 have been fined for mask or tracking device violations.

–Field Level Media

Jun 15, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills linebacker Marquel Lee (52) looks on during minicamp at the ADPRO Sports Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Bills activate LB Marquel Lee from COVID-19 list

The Buffalo Bills activated linebacker Marquel Lee from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday.

Lee, 25, signed as a free agent with the Bills on March 31 and was placed on the list on Aug. 10.

A fifth-round pick by the Raiders in the 2017 NFL Draft, Lee played in 34 games (19 starts) and recorded 104 tackles with the team from 2017-19.

Lee did not play in the NFL last season after the Raiders waived him with a failed physical designation in August 2020.

The Bills also released offensive lineman Steven Gonzalez. Undrafted out of Penn State in 2020, he spent time last season with the Arizona Cardinals but didn’t appear in any games.

–Field Level Media

Bills Dion Dawkins celebrates with fans after Buffalo beat the Ravens 17-3.

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Bills activate LT Dion Dawkins from COVID-19 list

The Buffalo Bills activated left tackle Dion Dawkins from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday.

Dawkins, 27, was placed on the list at the start of training camp late last month.

He is not likely to play in Friday night’s preseason opener against the host Detroit Lions.

A second-round pick in 2017, Dawkins has played in all 64 regular-season games (59 starts) and five playoff games in the past four seasons.

In August 2020 he signed a four-year, $60 million contract extension through the 2024 season.

–Field Level Media

Jul 28, 2021; Orchard Park, NY, United States; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) speaks with the media after practice at the Buffalo Bills Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Bills QB Josh Allen signs 6-year, $258M extension

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen agreed to a six-year extension through the 2028 season on Friday.

The team did not release financial details, but ESPN reported it was worth $258 million — $43 million per season — and includes $150 million guaranteed.

Allen, 25, is coming off a breakout season in 2020 in which he made the Pro Bowl, guided the Bills to their first AFC East title since 1995 and broke single-season team records for passing yards (4,544) and touchdown passes (37).

Buffalo lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, 38-24, in the AFC Championship Game.

Allen also broke the franchise records for completions (396), completion percentage (69.2), 300-yard games (eight) and total touchdowns (46) in 2020 and finished runner-up to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the league’s Most Valuable Player award.

Allen is 28-15 as a starter and has completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 9,707 yards with 67 touchdowns and 31 interceptions in 44 games (43 starts) since the Bills made him the No. 7 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He has also rushed for 1,562 yards and 25 touchdowns.

The $43 million average annual value makes Allen the second-highest-paid quarterback in the NFL, behind Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes ($45 million) and just ahead of the Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott ($42M).

Allen is the first quarterback in the 2018 class to sign a long-term second contract. Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns’ Baker Mayfield are also in line for lucrative deals.

–Field Level Media

Jan 24, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; A general view of a Buffalo Bills helmet in the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bills considering Austin as potential relocation destination

The Buffalo Bills are considering a move to Austin, potentially as leverage in order to receive funding for their new stadium, according to ESPN.

The Bills ownership is looking to have taxpayers entirely fund a new stadium, according to the Buffalo News. The group has drafted a $1.5 billion proposal for a new venue in Orchard Park, N.Y.

The Buffalo News reports that the Bills haven’t threatened to leave.

The Bills have played in Buffalo since the franchise’s founding in 1960, and have played at Highmark Stadium since 1973.

–Field Level Media