By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

Lawyer Milloy – Signed by the Bills in 2003

The news was almost shocking. Lawyer Milloy, safety for the New England Patriots, had been released by the team. Milloy had been picked for the Pro Bowl four times in his career, and was considered one of the team’s defensive leaders and hardest hitters? What were they thinking?

The Patriots had wanted Milloy to take a pay cut in order to fit better into the team’s salary cap. Negotiations broke down, and New England let him go. The Bills didn’t care about that. They spied an opportunity to upgrade their defense on the eve of the season, and grabbed him four days before the season opener. By the way, Buffalo hosted New England in that first game of the season.

Wins by the Bills over the Patriots were rare for most of the first two decades of the century, but Buffalo picked one up that day. Milloy contributed a sack and five tackles. He remained in the Bills’ starting lineup for the next three seasons. Then he was released along with Sam Adams in an effort to save money from the salary cap. Milloy played five more seasons in the NFL with Atlanta and Seattle.

A sack by Lawyer in that first game as a Bill starts this video about how that game gave the Patriots a huge boost:

(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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