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Bills address line issues by signing veteran Green to play right tackle

An expensive steak dinner he couldn't finish and an offer he couldn't refuse were enough to convince veteran offensive tackle Cornell Green to sign with the Buffalo Bills.

One night after being wined and dined by the Bills, Green signed a three-year contract Monday, making him the team's first addition three days into the NFL's free-agency period. NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported that the deal is worth $9 million, according to a league source.

Listed at 6-foot-6 and 315 pounds, Green said he has been told that he will be the Bills' new starting right tackle, taking over the position after Brad Butler retired last month. Green is a 10-year NFL veteran who spent the past three seasons as the Oakland Raiders' starting right tackle.

"I'm glad to have an opportunity to play over here. There's a proud history of tradition here," Green said during a teleconference call shortly after signing his contract. "I had opportunities to visit a couple of more teams, but at the end of the day, man, Buffalo made me feel real comfortable."

Green's signing is considered a start for a team under a new regime -- featuring rookie general manager Buddy Nix and new coach Chan Gailey -- that addressed an immediate need on a unit that was both young and riddled with injuries last season.

"Obviously, we wanted to address the tackle position either in free agency or the draft or both," Gailey said. "It was great to find a quality player like Cornell Green in free agency that fit our team."

Green has 46 starts in 89 career games and immediately becomes the Bills' senior offensive lineman. He entered the NFL in 1999 as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Atlanta Falcons. He eventually spent two seasons on the New York Jets' roster and also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos.

The Bills' line is still unsettled. Starting right guard Eric Wood is recuperating after breaking his leg last season, and starting left tackle Demetrius Bell is recovering from a knee injury.

In his conversations with Gailey, Green said the coach emphasized the importance of having a running attack.

"I love to run block," Green said. "We're just a couple of pieces away from being a playoff team. So hopefully, I can just come in and be a part of that puzzle."

Buffalo is coming off a 6-10 finish, and the team has gone 10 seasons without making the playoffs.

Green said he has put aside a run-in with the law he had a year ago, when he was arrested on a domestic-violence charge in Florida. Tampa police said Green became violent during an argument with Teriyonal Ebony Flowers, the mother of his two children. Green was accused of slamming Flowers into a wall and striking her arm with an aluminum mop handle.

The status of the case is unclear. Green said he's still dating Flowers and plans to bring her and his two children to live with him in Buffalo.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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