Bills add veteran CB James to the mix

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Cornerback William James agreed to a two-year contract with the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday, jumping at the opportunity to become a full-time starter.

James is a seven-year NFL veteran who spent the past two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. He bolsters a depleted Bills defensive secondary, and is expected to immediately compete with Jabari Greer for a starting job opposite Terrence McGee.

James' agent Ronald Slavin confirmed his client reached a deal with Buffalo, and said James is scheduled to report to the Bills next week for the start of the team's voluntary workout period.

The Bills, by policy, don't announce player moves until a contract is signed.

Selected by the Giants in the third round of the 2001 draft, James spent five seasons with New York before signing with the Eagles. He had 31 tackles and one interception in 14 games, including six starts, with Philadelphia last season.

Listed at 6-feet and 200 pounds, James' best season came in 2004, when he set career-highs in tackles (68), passes defended (11) and starts (15), and matched a career-best with two interceptions. Persistent back problems hampered his play over the next two seasons, a stretch in which he appeared in only five games.

Besides changing teams in 2006, James also changed his name when he signed with the Eagles. James previously went by Will Peterson.

He joins Buffalo after he visited the Bills' facility and met with team coaches last week. Slavin said Atlanta, Houston and Philadelphia had also expressed interest in his client, but James chose Buffalo because of a chance to be a starter.

The Bills' depth at cornerback is depleted after the team failed to re-sign Jason Webster and released Kiwaukee Thomas this offseason. Besides Greer and McGee, the team returns only one other experienced cornerback, Ashton Youboty.

Earlier in the day, the Bills re-signed safety Bryan Scott, a five-year veteran, who appeared in 15 games and started the final two for Buffalo last season. He finished with 20 tackles and one forced fumble after signing with the Bills prior to Week 2 after starter Ko Simpson broke his ankle.

Initially limited to playing on special teams, Scott eventually gained a starting job in a secondary that finished the year with four regulars on injured reserve.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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