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CB Clements a no-show at Bills minicamp

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (April 7, 2006) -- Nate Clements was a no-show when the Buffalo Bills opened a voluntary minicamp because he failed to accept a one-year contract as the team's franchise player.

New coach Dick Jauron said it was important for the star cornerback to attend camp to learn the new defensive system Jauron and coordinator Perry Fewell are implementing.

"We'd like to have him in, but we also understand his position in this thing," said Jauron, who took over after Mike Mularkey's abrupt resignation in January. "It'll straighten itself out over time one way or the other. We obviously value his abilities a great deal."

The Bills designated Clements their franchise player in February. The move means the Bills are committed to paying him about $7.2 million next season. The two sides are attempting to negotiate a long-term contract.

Clements' agent, Todd France, said there were "no new developments at this time," in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Clements doesn't have to accept the offer, and the Bills can withdraw the deal at any time.

Buffalo's first-round pick in the 2001 draft, Clements is a five-year starter who leads the team with 20 interceptions, four of which he's returned for touchdowns.

The three-day minicamp ends April 9.

Two other players -- running back Willis McGahee and linebacker Takeo Spikes -- also were absent.

Jauron said McGahee had a scheduling conflict, but it's possible he will attend the final two days of camp. Spikes continues to recuperate after having surgery to repair an Achilles' tendon he tore in Week 3 of last season.

Spikes isn't expected to fully recover until the start of training camp in July.

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