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March 6, 1996: WR Quinn Early Signs With the Buffalo Bills

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Quinn Early was a force on the New Orleans Saints from 1991 through 1995, but was at his best in '94 and '95, when he averaged 82 catches for 991 yards and six touchdowns heading into free agency. On this date fifteen years ago, the Buffalo Bills were the team to land Early to add a second receiver opposite Andre Reed.

Early started 11 games in his rookie year after the San Diego Chargers made him their third-round selection in 1988. After falling out of favor out west, he signed with the Saints and never started less than 12 games nor caught fewer than 30 passes in the Big Easy. After his two best seasons as a pro, he hit free agency at just the right time in his career.

Early played three seasons for the Bills, starting 13 and 16 games in his first two years until becoming the third WR when Eric Moulds took over opposite Reed. He started only three games in his third and final season in Buffalo.

All together, Early started 31 games in Buffalo, appeared in all 48, and accumulated 129 receptions, 1,868 yards and ten touchdowns. He did this despite the Bills going through three different opening-day quarterbacks: Jim Kelly, Todd Collins and Rob Johnson.

The highlight of Early's career in Buffalo was a then-team record 95-yard touchdown catch on December 10, 1996, on a ball thrown from Collins. That record was broken two seasons ago when Ryan Fitzpatrick and Terrell Owens connected on a 98-yard catch and run for a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Early went on to play one more season with the New York Jets, catching only six passes. He is currently a Kung Fu instructor in San Diego. You can read some more about what he's doing now here and here.