CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 13: Julius Peppers #90 of the Chicago Bears rushes against Erik Pears #79 of the Buffalo Bills during a preseason game at Soldier Field on August 13, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
WGR 550 in Buffalo is reporting that with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick locked up long-term, the Buffalo Bills are now seeking contract extensions for two veteran players in the final year of their respective deals: right tackle Erik Pears and kicker Rian Lindell.
The report also suggests that contract talks with wideout Stevie Johnson - easily the team's most important looming free agent - have not taken place recently, and may not again until after the 2011 season concludes. A deal for Fred Jackson also appears possible (if not likely), but with Jackson already under contract for 2012, Pears and Lindell will get priority.
Pears took over as the team's starting right tackle late in 2010 and has held the position through this season. He has been a steady and mistake-free performer, and as he's still just 29 years old, it makes sense to lock him down for future seasons - especially with Chris Hairston focused on the left side.
Lindell, meanwhile, will be 35 in January, but continues to kick well, connecting on 12-of-14 field goal attempts this season. Already in his ninth year with Buffalo, if he does get a contract extension, he'll likely finish his career with this franchise.