Bills place longtime LB Schobel on reserve/did not report list

The Buffalo Bills say they're moving forward without leading pass rusher Aaron Schobel. The linebacker is home in Texas and considering retirement.

General manager Buddy Nix told the team's official website on Monday that if Schobel decides to play again in the NFL, he will not do so in a Buffalo Bills uniform. He said Schobel's official status will not change until he decides what he will do in the future.

"He will stay on the Reserve/Did Not Report list until he makes a decision on whether he's retiring or if he might want to play somewhere else," said Nix.

Schobel told The Associated Press in a phone interview that he is not upset or surprised by the move.

"I understand. I would have done the same thing if I were in their shoes," Schobel said. "I understand it 100 percent. I'm sort of relieved.

"I have no regrets and I appreciate the organization, Buffalo, their fans and (Bills owner) Ralph (Wilson) for putting me in this position where I was able to play for nine years. I'm not going to say anything bad about them and I wish them the best."

Schobel said he is not planning to retire immediately, but will take two weeks before making a decision. He did say if he does play, this would be his last NFL season.

NFL Network Insider Jason La Canfora reports that Schobel is interested in pursuing playing options, according to a league source. Schobel had been leaning strongly toward returning and was even working on securing a home to rent in Buffalo for the season.

Schobel would likely not have be a great fit in a 3-4 scheme but could well find a home with a 4-3 club. He was set to make $8 million with the Bills, and it's unlikely he would command that kind of money on the open market, but he is certainly willing to work something out with any interested organizations, La Canfora reports.

Schobel has been contemplating retirement the past seven months. He has spent his nine NFL seasons in Buffalo and his 78 sacks rank second on the team's career list behind Hall of Famer Bruce Smith.

He broached the prospect of retirement at the end of last season, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. Schobel has four years left on a $50.5 million contract extension he signed in 2007.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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