Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- When the new year started in March for the National Football League, it didn't take long for one of the Buffalo Bills' more well-known offensive linemen to find a new home. Andy Levitre found greener pastures with the Tennessee Titans after spending four years with the team that drafted him.
With another key piece to the offensive line set to become an unrestricted free agent in March of 2014, all eyes in western New York will be on the Bills to see if they can re-sign center Eric Wood. To keep things in perspective, it's only May and there is still plenty of time to strike a deal.
Wood knows that, understands it and is ready for the conversation when it gets to be his turn. As for now, the starting center says there have been no negotiations to this point between he, his agent David Dunn (the same agent as Levitre) and the Bills.
"There's obvious interest from both sides to get a deal done at some point," Wood said Wednesday. "But with a GM change and a big-time free agent at safety that we'd like to get re-signed -- and this is just me speculating myself, this isn't stuff they said -- and rookies, I know I'm not top priority right now. Hopefully we can get a deal done at some point, maybe this summer."
It's always a tricky situation for players entering their contract year. Some use it as added motivation for the coming season, some will let it affect their minds in a negative way, while others choose to block it out completely.
Wood remains cognizant of his status, but subscribes to the third theory more than anything.
"I'm not gonna worry about [my contract]," he remarked. "As soon as I start worrying about that, I'm sure my performance would slip and I wouldn't be doing due diligence to give all my heart to the Buffalo Bills on the field. That's why you pay an agent a lot of money to get that done, and work behind the scenes so you don't have to worry about that."
With a new General Manager, a new coaching staff and a brand new quarterback, that triumvirate of factors could make some players want to head for the hills and get away from an assumed rebuilding project. Wood isn't that type of person, and commented on Wednesday that he would like to see this thing through in Buffalo.
"Yeah, absolutely. Me and Andy [Levitre] kind of had that conversation too. If we weren't playing here and the Bills made the playoffs and we kind of gave up on it, how much that would hurt," he said. "It's different if you went to Pittsburgh who wins Super Bowls all the time and makes the playoffs almost every year. You go and make the playoffs there, it's not that special."
"When we make the playoffs, and hopefully this year, it's going to be an awesome time around here. The energy we felt two years ago starting 4-1, if it's half that, it'll be a fun time in Orchard Park and Buffalo."
Wood and the rest of the Bills finished out their first week of Organized Team Activities on Wednesday. They'll resume for a second week of work starting on Monday, May 20.