Updates on Coles, Fitzpatrick, Hangartner and Birk

Update, 9:20 PM EDT: See here for an important clarification on Laveranues Coles' current whereabouts.  Long story short: I can neither confirm nor deny that he is still in Buffalo.  There has been a lot of confusion, so check out the update to set the record straight.  End Update

On the opening day of the NFL's 2009 free agent signing period, the Buffalo Bills made some waves by hosting WR Laveranues Coles and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick at team headquarters, along with other available veterans.  The team is also bringing in OG Geoff Hangartner, and there have also been indications that Buffalo is linked to C Matt Birk.  Thanks to a well-placed source close to the team, Buffalo Rumblings can exclusively reveal the latest on these visits.

WR Laveranues Coles: Coles has not left Buffalo yet.  The veteran wideout's visit was reportedly a very positive one for both parties.  Coles will reportedly remain in Buffalo through at least a portion of this evening, and there is positive energy surrounding the entire situation.  A deal does not appear imminent, but Buffalo's interest is very legitimate, and the feeling is mutual from Coles' end.  There remains a strong possibility (note the lack of the word "probability", and we're certainly not confirming anything) that an accord can be struck.  Coles is, however, receiving strong interest from other franchises as well.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: Indications are strong that Fitzpatrick will become Buffalo's backup quarterback at some point over the weekend.  His meeting with the team went very well, and it's not anticipated at this time that he'll make any more visits.  Still, a signing isn't a certainty, but we are comfortable labeling it a probability.

OG Geoff Hangartner: Though it was reported that Hangartner would be in Buffalo on Friday, his visit with Buffalo will not take place until tomorrow (Saturday) morning.  Hangartner is reportedly a very high priority target for the Bills, and the team is expected to do all it can to keep Hangartner from leaving town without a deal.  It is unclear exactly which position the team anticipates he would play in Buffalo, but popular opinion is that he's being courted as a center.

C Matt Birk: Buffalo was, in fact, one of the teams that contacted Birk.  However, the veteran is seeking a deal similar to the one that Jason Brown reportedly was offered in St. Louis this afternoon, which is in the vicinity of $7 million per season.  Buffalo is not prepared to pay such a contract to any interior lineman, and thus Birk will not be making a trip to Buffalo.  Still, depending on the type of money he can get elsewhere, there's a remote possibility that he'll re-consider if his market value drops.  The door is not closed, but it's close.

We do not, unfortunately, have any updates on the rest of the team's recent visitors, including OG Kendall Simmons, CB Drayton Florence and LB Jamie Winborn.  Keep it locked in to Buffalo Rumblings for all the latest Bills free agency news.

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