posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 10:17 PM
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent linebacker Jason Gildon to a one-year deal Wednesday, days after they had reached a verbal
Gildon, who was going to earn more than $3 million this year with Pittsburgh, was cut by the Steelers in June for salary-cap reasons. He was
considered one of the top veterans still available on the market.
Financial terms of the contract were not released.
Gildon, who turns 32 on July 31, started for the Steelers since 1996. He was drafted by Pittsburgh in 1994 by Tom Donahoe, the Bills current general
manager. Gildon is familiar with Bills coach Mike Mularkey, who worked for the Steelers for the past eight years.
"It always helps to see a familiar face," Gildon said. "Someone you know just to ease the transition."
Jeff Posey, London Fletcher and Takeo Spikes already make up the Bills' linebacker corps. Because of that, Gildon will more than likely be a
situational pass rusher, his forte.
Buffalo had the second-best defense in the NFL last year, but ranked ninth in sacks. Gildon has 77 career sacks in his 10-year career and was selected
for the Pro Bowl the last three years. His best season was 2000 when he recorded a career-high 13.5 sacks and 87 tackles.
Gildon had narrowed his choices to Buffalo, Green Bay and Cincinnati. He chose Buffalo not only because of his familiarity with Mularkey and Donahoe,
but also because he thinks the Bills can make the playoffs this year despite their disappointing 6-10 mark last season.
"I think (we) have the potential to definitely challenge for a championship," Gildon said.