Bills ready for prime time?

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 4:32 PM ET

The acquisition of flamboyant wide receiver Terrell Owens is already boosting the profile of the Buffalo Bills and the NFL has responded.

The team and league just announced today that the Bills will open the 2009 season in a Monday Night Football contest against their AFC East rival New England Patriots.

The game, which will be played at the Patriots home in Foxborough, Mass., is the latest stroke of marketing brilliance by the NFL, which knows that wherever Owens appears, he makes big news. The game will also likely mark the return of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who was injured in the opening week in 2008 and his go-to receiver, the equally flamboyant Randy Moss.

The Bills, meanwhile, made the biggest headlines of this off-season by acquiring Owens after he was released by the Dallas Cowboys.

There has been no indication yet as to which team will play host to the game.

The Bills are in the news in Toronto as well, with word that Rogers Communication has surveyed fans to gauge interest in possibly boosting the number of games played here.

Rogers is hoping to add a second regular-season game or 2010, 2011 and 2012 to the already negotiated games for each of those seasons.

The company, which signed a five-year deal with the Bills last year, sent an e-mail to ticket holders raising the possibility of stepping up the arrangement.

The Bills, meanwhile, are playing down the move as premature.

"We are aware that there is interest in expanding the Bills in Toronto Series by an additional regular season game in the future," the team said in a statement. "We're also aware that our hosts (Rogers) have conducted a survey as part of their internal process of evaluating whether to propose an expansion of the series.

"We have an agreement to play one regular season game for the next four seasons.

"We have no agreement, nor has there ever been one, to play an additional regular season game in Toronto. Any such future agreement would require consultation and the approvals of Erie County, Empire State Development Corporation and the NFL owners."


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