Originally created 03/16/04

Agent: CB Vincent agrees to terms with Bills



ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Pro Bowl cornerback Troy Vincent agreed to terms with Buffalo on Monday, ending a stellar eight-year tenure with Philadelphia.

Vincent's agent Linda Bodley told The Associated Press her free-agent client agreed to a six-year deal, choosing Buffalo ahead of two other teams - Cincinnati and Kansas City - that had courted him.

"He's relieved that he's finally made a decision," Bodley said. "And with any of the three teams he couldn't go wrong. He's very pleased."

Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold would only say the team had been in negotiations with Vincent, but that he had nothing to report on a deal.

Vincent is a 12-year veteran, who was selected to his fifth straight Pro Bowl last season. Bodley said Vincent intends to complete his career in Buffalo.

It's a big move for the Bills, who needed to address the loss of cornerback Antoine Winfield, a four-year starter who signed with Minnesota earlier this month.

In Vincent, who turns 33 in June, Buffalo gets a respected veteran who earned a reputation as a leader in the locker room. He's expected to take over Winfield's spot on the left side in a backfield that includes veteran safety Lawyer Milloy, who signed with the Bills days before the start of last season, and cornerback Nate Clements, a three-year starter.

Winfield was noted as a hard-hitter, but his drawback was a lack of interceptions, getting only six in his five seasons with the Bills. Vincent, in comparison, has 42 interceptions, including three last year.

He joins a revamped defense that finished second in the NFL in yards allowed last year, and also features linebackers Takeo Spikes and London Fletcher.

Vincent started and appeared in 13 games last season, missing the Eagles final two regular-season games and a playoff game against Green Bay because of a hip injury.

Besides losing Vincent, the Eagles stand to lose their other starting cornerback, Bobby Taylor, who is also a free agent.

During his trip to Buffalo, Vincent said he still considered himself one of the league's premier cornerbacks, but didn't rule out a move to safety.

He spoke highly of the Bills, referring to owner Ralph Wilson when saying: "I've done my history on the NFL, and he's one of the guys who helped build what we see today in the NFL. This is a first-class organization."

Vincent also considered it a plus that the Bills' front office included assistant general manager Tom Modrak, who spent three-plus seasons as the Eagles' director of football operations, beginning in the late 1990s.

He broke into the NFL as Miami's first-round pick in 1992, and played four seasons with the Dolphins before signing with the Eagles in 1996. Vincent best season came in 1999, when he led the league with a career-high seven interceptions and was credited with 100 tackles.

Vincent has also been recognized for his charitable works, selected the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 2002.