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NFL notebook: Bills owner Wilson dies at 95

Steelers/NFL Videos

By Wire Reports
Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 9:33 p.m.
 

Ralph Wilson, the Buffalo Bills owner who helped found the American Football League in 1960 and played a key role in the merger with the NFL, died Tuesday. He was 95.

Wilson died at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., said Mary Mazur, spokeswoman for the Wayne County medical examiner's office. He had been receiving home hospice care.

Bills President Russ Brandon announced the death at the NFL meetings in Orlando, Fla. Wilson gave up daily oversight of the club on Jan. 1, 2013, when he relinquished the president's title to Brandon.

Wilson was the founder and sole owner of the Bills after establishing the team with the upstart AFL. He was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

“Ralph Wilson was a driving force in developing pro football into America's most popular sport,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Ralph always brought a principled and common-sense approach to issues.”

Wilson had been in failing health for several years after hip surgery in 2011.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1918, Wilson moved to Detroit three years later when his father, Ralph Wilson Sr., took a sales job at an auto dealership. The father turned to insurance and in the mid-1930s landed a deal with Chrysler Corp.

The younger Wilson graduated from the University of Virginia, where he played baseball and boxed, before completing one year at the University of Michigan Law School. He made his fortune taking over his father's insurance business, but he had a passion for football.

Brother of Bucs WR Williams charged with stabbing

The Buccaneers are gathering information on an incident in which receiver Mike Williams allegedly was stabbed in the leg by his brother. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said the fifth-year pro's younger brother, Eric Baylor, turned himself in Monday night. Baylor, 23, was held on $1,000 bond.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht said coach Lovie Smith had been in contact with Williams by telephone and that the team was still trying to determine what happened.

“The good news is Mike is healthy,” Licht said Tuesday in Orlando, where he was attending the annual NFL meetings.

Irsay's court hearing delayed

Prosecutors postponed an initial court appearance for Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay following his arrest on drug-related charges.

Irsay had been scheduled to go to court Wednesday following his March 16 arrest on preliminary charges of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance. But the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office issued a statement saying the hearing was postponed “unless or until” formal charges are filed against him.

A P source: Lions and Ihedigbo agree to 2-year deal

The Lions ended their search for a safety. James Ihedigbo and the Lions agreed to a two-year contract, the Associated Press reported according to a person familiar with negotiations.

Ihedigbo made 99 tackles last year for Baltimore Ravens, ranking second on the team, and had three interceptions after not picking off one pass his previous five years in the league.

C owboys file complaint against Jay Ratliff

The Cowboys filed a complaint against Jay Ratliff and are seeking compensation from the defensive lineman.

Ratliff was sidelined last season while recovering from a sports hernia that required surgery. He was placed on the physically unable to perform list, but when he told the Cowboys he was not physically able to play, they released him in October.

A week later, Ratliff's surgeon medically cleared him to play and he signed with the Bears, playing five games for them.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones calls it “undermining” when a player “can say he is hurt one day and signs to play with a team another.”

The collective bargaining agreement does not cover such disputes. The Cowboys have brought their complaint to the NFL's management council and the players' union.

 

 
 


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