By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

No. 46: March 6, 2003The Bills trade Peerless Price to Atlanta for a first-round draft choice in 2003 (Willie McGahee).

The idea in the world of finance is to buy low and sell high. You’d have to say the Bills did that with wide receiver Peerless Price, relatively speaking. Price was a second-round pick from 1999 who showed some growth in his first three seasons, but no one was ready for what he did in Year Four. Price caught 92 passes for 1,252 yards – just in time to negotiate a new contract.

The Bills put a franchise tag on him and started shopping. Atlanta wanted an elite target for quarterback Michael Vick, so the Falcons gave up a No. 1 pick for him. Then Price signed a seven-year contract for $37.5 million. Price then returned to his pre-2003 days, and the Falcons cut him before the 2005 season. The wide receiver even returned to Buffalo in 2006 to catch 49 passes.

But the real drama came with the first-round draft pick. Willis McGahee displayed superstar potential at Miami of Florida, but suffered a horrible knee injury at the end of his college career. Any team that drafted him would have to wait at least a year before he could play, and even then his effectiveness was a question mark on draft day. It was a bold move by the Bills, but they were rewarded when they received three seasons of play from him with at least 990 rushing yards.

(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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