Bills serious about Searcy?

The Bills will invite Ravens free agent right tackle Leon Searcy into town next week for a visit. They also re-signed starting center Billy Conaty. Searcy tore his left triceps with the Ravens in training camp last season and never played for the team. In 2000, he tore his right quadriceps leg muscle while in the Jaguars' training camp. He hasn't played a game since 1999, his lone Pro Bowl season.

A 10-year veteran, Searcy, 32, was a first-round pick (No. 11 overall) of Tom Donahoe when he became the director of football operations for the Steelers in 1992. He is also being looked at by the Falcons, Redskins and Dolphins. There are serious doubts as to whether Searcy can return to form prior to his two injuries.

Here's a 1999 quote from Searcy when he played with the Jags. He talks about his infamous punch block: "I only use it when there's an opening. A lot of people think that's the only thing in my arsenal, but if I see an opening where you expose yourself I'm going to try to wreak some havoc. Being an offensive lineman I don't think you should endure the brunt of the blows. I see defensive linemen out there. They get after you. They're physical. I'm just not one who likes to absorb punishment. I like to dish it out as well."

What would the Bills do if Searcy does come to Buffalo? He played right tackle for the Steelers and Jaguars. When Cincinnati was inquiring about Searcy in 2001, he told the team he could not play left tackle. He played both tackle positions at Miami, playing left tackle his senior year.

The Redskins looked at Searcy as a possible guard, a position, of course, that Buffalo might be interested in Searcy playing as well. Doing that would free Jerry Ostroski to move back to center or right tackle, which may mean the team is looking at Jonas Jennings as a left tackle. But then with Conaty back, those plans might be out the window.

Still, at this point, I'd say Searcy is a long shot.

If Buffalo is truly intent on solidifying left tackle, it should pick one in the draft. Interestingly, when Miami left tackle Bryant McKinnie talked about the teams that met with him at the Combine, he mentioned Kansas City, Minnesota, Dallas, San Diego, even Carolina and Cincinnati – "basically all the top-five teams," he said. No mention of Buffalo, however. Perhaps, Donahoe is playing a game here. Maybe the Bills will want to stick it to San Diego, which has the No. 5 pick, and take McKinnie fourth, but they're not letting on.

Donahoe was in Miami this week scouting the Hurricanes' players, no doubt scouting McKinnie as well ...

The Bills worked out Cardinals free agent cornerback Corey Chavous today. It's tough to say where Chavous projects, especially since the Bills are set at cornerback with Antoine Winfield and Nate Clements.

 


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