Bills Notes: Goodwin, Harvin, Cassel

NFL activities have slowed to the usual late-June crawl, but here is some Friday-evening news coming out of Buffalo Bills headquarters.

  • Bills reserve wideout Marquise Goodwin decided on a whim to compete in this weekend’s USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., and, despite not participating in the sport since the 2012 London Olympics, placed fourth in the long jump with a personal-best mark. The top three long jumpers qualify for the World Championships, which are set for late August in China, so Goodwin won’t be missing any Bills training camp time. After finishing 10th in London, Goodwin leaped 27 feet, 5 1/2 inches, which was just more than a foot off champion Marquis Dendy’s result but nearly 2 feet farther than Goodwin’s best leap in the Olympic final round. The 24-year-old Goodwin insists football remains his primary sport, but he told Austin Meek of The Register-Guard (Ore.) he will attempt to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic team. Bills GM Doug Whaley told Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News he hadn’t given Goodwin’s surprise participation plans “any thought” but hoped he did well.
  • With LeSean McCoy slated to accrue the lion’s share of Buffalo’s carries this season, Percy Harvin won’t be utilized in quite the same manner he has been during the bulk of his career. Though the Bills will place Harvin in his usual slot spot frequently, they intend to give the mercurial target extensive repetitions outside, writes Chris Brown of Coach Sanjay Lal, who instructed Harvin with the Jets last season before venturing to Buffalo with Rex Ryan, is intent on developing Harvin exclusively as a wide receiver. Although Harvin’s spent past games aligned primarily outside, last season represented the seventh-year receiver’s first long-term look at that position, with his first seven Jets contests featuring left or right wide receiver as his main position (according to Pro Football Focus, which requires a subscription).
  • Although viewing Matt Cassel as a consummate teammate with experience handling reserve roles, Carucci does not see the newly acquired 33-year-old quarterback and his $4.75MM cap figure staying on the team if EJ Manuel reclaims his starting job. Carucci expects the Bills to extend Cassel’s contract, which expires after 2015, to provide cap relief, and views such a move not yet occurring after the 11th-year QB’s offseason struggles as a sign Cassel may not be on the team should Manuel or Tyrod Taylor usurp him for the starting gig.
  • The Buffalo reporter also sees a Marcell Dareus extension, which our Luke Adams analyzed earlier this week, being finalized before the season begins. As of now, the All-Pro defensive tackle will play this season on an $8.1MM cap figure as a result of his fifth-year option being exercised.
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