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NFL notebook: Bills work out WVU's Geno Smith

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AP
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith reacts after Syracuse defenders dragged him down in the end zone for a safety during the second half of the Pinstripe Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, at Yankee Stadium in New York.
By The Associated Press
Friday, March 22, 2013, 8:30 p.m.
 

The Bills' offseason search for a quarterback led them to West Virginia, where they conducted a private workout involving Geno Smith on Friday.

A person familiar with what happened told the Associated Press that Smith's workout took place on campus in the morning. The person said the former Mountaineer had dinner the previous night with general manager Buddy Nix, assistant GM Doug Whaley, coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Bills would not reveal any details except to announce the workout had been scheduled.

Smith is regarded as one of the top quarterback prospects available in the draft next month.

The Bills open the draft with the eighth pick, and Nix already has expressed an interest in selecting a quarterback, though he won't be pinned down to what round.

Buffalo's need at quarterback grew larger last week after the team released returning starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has since signed with the Titans. That leaves Tarvaris Jackson as the only experienced quarterback on the Bills roster.

Last season, Smith threw for 4,205 yards and led the nation with 42 touchdown passes.

This is the second time in a little more than a week that Bills officials have watched Smith work out.

Ravens will open on road

Consider this a rare example of the NFL not getting its way.

Instead of celebrating their Super Bowl title with a game at their home stadium, the Ravens will start the 2013 regular season on the road because Major League Baseball and the Baltimore Orioles wouldn't budge.

The NFL likes to have its reigning champion open a season at home and wanted to have the Ravens play in Baltimore at night on Sept. 5. But with the Orioles already set to host the Chicago White Sox next door at 7:05 p.m. on that date and the leagues and teams unable to reach a compromise, the Ravens will have to play somewhere else.

The Ravens and Orioles play at adjacent stadiums and share a parking lot, so they avoid playing at the same time because of traffic problems.

Bengals re-sign Roland

The Bengals made another move to keep their playoff team intact, agreeing to a new contract with offensive tackle Dennis Roland.

Cincinnati has signed eight of its players from last season who were eligible for unrestricted free agency.

Roland, a sixth-year player, has played in each of the Bengals' past 67 games.

Around the league

The Panthers signed unrestricted free agent wide receiver Ted Ginn. In 2012, Ginn played in 13 games and averaged 10.2 yards per punt return and 23 yards per kickoff return for the 49ers. ... The Bears agreed to a one-year contract with linebacker D.J. Williams, a possible replacement for Brian Urlacher. The deal comes two days after the Bears said they couldn't reach an agreement with Urlacher. ... Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson was arrested on a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge in Missoula, where he played college football for the Montana. ... The Browns signed free agent tight end Kellen Davis and cornerback Chris Owens to one-year contracts. Both players will give the club depth at two thin positions, and it's possible one or both of them could earn starting jobs. The 6-foot-7, 265-pound Davis set career-highs with 19 receptions for 229 yards and two touchdowns for Chicago last season.

 

 
 


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