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Josh Allen: Bills 'trusted me' when I admitted mistakes

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ARLINGTON, TEXAS -- At the tail-end of a day when the conversation surrounding Josh Allen fixated on how far he would fall, the Buffalo Bills made sure that the polarizing Wyoming prospect didn't drop too far from their grasp.

The Bills traded two second-round picks to move up to Tampa Bay's seventh slot to select Allen, who endured an onslaught of criticism on draft day, not for his on-field accuracy issues, but for an off-field blunder.

Allen came under fire earlier Thursday after inappropriate and racially insensitive tweets he made while in high school emerged. The social media posts, which no longer appear on Allen's page, contained racial slurs and offensive language, according to Yahoo! Sports. Allen told reporters after his selection that those tweets had been deleted a few months, or even a year ago.

Allen confirmed that after the tweets surfaced "a couple of teams" reached out to him and his agency to make sure they were real and to have him explain his actions. Allen didn't speak directly with any of the clubs -- his agents handled that. That is, except for one team, the one that ended up drafting him.

"They just basically wanted an explanation of everything and I gave it to them," Allen said of the Bills. "I owned up to my mistakes. They trusted me. They trusted my judgment. I think they did their due diligence, talked to my coaches, my teammates. There had never been an problem with me and my teammates. I love those guys, and I guarantee they said good things about me."

Whether Allen will be received well in a professional locker room, given his race-tinged tweets, was a serious question all of Thursday.

"I'm going to be myself," Allen told reporters of how he will introduce himself to his new Bills teammates. "There were no malintentions with those tweets. ... I had a lot of teammates reach out to me. They said, 'I don't care what the tweets say. I know who you are. You my guy, and none of that's ever going to change.'"

On a day that was supposed to be the exciting, hopeful start of something new, Allen and his team were left playing damage control for nearly 24 hours. But when Buffalo traded up to select him, Allen could set the stress of his topsy-turvy afternoon aside, at least for a few beats.

Walking out to Bon Jovi's "Dead or Alive" -- a fitting song for a former Cowboy at a crossroads -- the quarterback was greeted with a warm response by the onlookers at AT&T Stadium. As Allen walked onto the stage to hug NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the Bills Mafia fans situated in the first row were ecstatic that Buffalo had drafted its quarterback of the future.

The odd juxtaposition of the whole day was not lost on Allen.

"It was very stressful. I was so emotional about it just because that's not who I am as a person," Allen insisted. "My teammates, my coaching staff, they know that's not who I am. Six years ago, I put in on my shoulders. It happened. It was a mistake. I was young and dumb.

"But I've moved on."

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