Bills' Wood not yet retired due to bonus

Eric Wood over the football in the snow. A few hours later he was pushing free stuck motorists in a parking lot

Buffalo Bills center Eric Wood had a press conference scheduled for Monday afternoon in which he was expected to formally announce his retirement, but reporters were left scratching their heads when he spoke for just two minutes and took no questions. After the season, as part of the exit physical, we got an MRI that revealed a disc that was dangerously close to my spinal cord at C-2, C-3, and that was alarming. Dressed in a gray blazer and blue trousers, Wood delivered a statement that did not include an official retirement and then exited the stage without taking questions.

"I'm sure there a lot of unanswered questions and I hope to address those at a later date".

The Bills were ready for all the pomp and circumstance that goes with the retirement of a long time, popular player.

What made the series of events even more freaky was that some of Wood's current and former teammates attended the press conference, and it seemed like they were going to give the the 31-year-old a big send-off.

Though he called the news "unfortunate", McDermott spoke in more positive terms of Wood's time with the Bills, noting that the playoff match came at the tail end of a career spent entirely with one team - something most players don't get to do. He'll be on our roster for a while, until we figure things out.

Wood was entering the final year of his contract before signing a two-year extension in August.

In a separate development, the Bills announced defensive line coach Mike Waufle has retired after completing his 20th National Football League season and first in Buffalo. They also hired Aaron Whitecotton to take over as Teerlinck's assistant.

Asked about what Wood's role might be with the team, McDermott said "those are conversations for another time".

"This is Eric's day".

"We don't have any cap room right now", Beane said. Ryan Fitzpatrick was among the former Bills in attendance, while Kyle Williams, LeSean McCoy and other current Bills made the trip. But McDermott said Wood has done his due diligence in getting second opinions about the injury before making his decision to no longer play football. He said was "floored" when informed of the severity of his neck injury.

Wood is from Cincinnati and spent four seasons playing at Louisville before being selected by the Bills with their second of two first-round picks in the 2009 draft. He said tests showed no significant damage. Wood earned a starting job entering his rookie season and appeared in 121 career games, including one in the playoff.

Wood has been a fixture in the Buffalo community through his Eric Wood Fund.



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