Moulds rejects Bills offer for a second time

Buffalo Bills WR Eric Moulds has turned down a second attempt to restructure his cap-straining contract Thursday, a decision that could force the team's hand to release its veteran receiver by as early as this week.

Unless a new deal can be reached, the Bills would have little choice but to cut Moulds, which would save the team about $5.5 million in cap room. Moulds, a 10-year veteran and the team's senior player, has two years left on his contract, scheduled to count $10.85 million against the salary cap for the 2006 season.

"This thing is going nowhere," Moulds' personal adviser, Greg Johnson, told The Associated Press after he and the player's agent, Harry Henderson, held talks with the Bills. "The dollars they're presenting at this particular time are much too low. We're way too far apart to have an intelligent conversation anymore."

"I think they're going to cut him, but not any time soon," Johnson said.

Henderson added "Based on what they're proposing, I guess it's not encouraging. We're way off. ... Our attitude has been optimistic, but realistically it may not happen."

His salary would represent 11% of the projected $95 million cap, a figure the Bills deem far too expensive.

Although he didn't provide monetary details of the negotiations, Johnson said the Bills haven't budged from their stance that Moulds accept what he called a significant pay cut.

The Bills were under the salary cap even before the NFL on Thursday pushed back the start of its free agency period to Monday. It was initially scheduled to open on Friday.

Buffalo freed more than $9 million in cap space Wednesday by releasing three veterans, including defensive tackle Sam Adams. Those moves mean the team wouldn't have to release Moulds until adding free agents.

Buffalo's first-round pick in the 1996 draft, Moulds is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and ranks second on the team in several career receiving categories. Moulds has been a full-time starter since his third season in Buffalo. In 154 games, he has 675 catches for 9,096 yards and 48 touchdowns. Only Andre Reed has more catches (941) and yards (13,095) among Bills receivers.

Keeping Moulds, who has two years left on his contract and is scheduled to make $10.85 million next season, would hamper the team's ability to address its more significant needs, particularly on the offensive and defensive lines.

Buffalo already has released offensive lineman Mike Williams and is not expected to re-sign veteran center Trey Teague.

On the other side of the ball, the Bills could be missing two starting defensive tackles after cutting Adams and with Ron Edwards becoming a free agent. Edwards started last year before a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 4.

Other Bills players eligible to become free agents on Monday are: Third-string receiver Josh Reed, backup defensive end Ryan Denney, backup defensive tackle Justin Bannan, backup offensive lineman Greg Jerman, long-snapper Mike Schneck and cornerback Kevin Thomas, who missed all last season with a knee injury.

( Compiled from wire reports)

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