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Sources: Levy has option to remain with Bills as a consultant

12/30/2007 - NFL Buffalo Bills

Following a meeting this week between Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. and 82-year-old general manager Marv Levy, a mutual decision was made that Levy will step down as Bills GM, sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Levy will have an option to remain with the team as a consultant.

An official announcement is expected this week.

The news came as the Bills (7-9) closed their season with a 17-9
loss at Philadelphia. Buffalo, knocked out of postseason contention
two weeks ago, missed the playoffs for an eighth straight year to
establish the longest drought in franchise history.

Levy was not immediately available for comment.

A person with the Bills told The Associated Press on Sunday
evening there had been discussion about Levy stepping down, but not
until after the NFL draft in April. The person spoke on the
condition of anonymity because Levy and the team had not announced
a decision.

Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold said he was not aware of any
decisions made involving Levy's status. Berchtold said Levy did not
travel with the team to Philadelphia because of a sinus issue that
made it uncomfortable for him to fly.

The Bills, following the game, issued a news release announcing
when players would be available to the media on Monday. The release
also said both Levy and coach Dick Jauron would be made available
to reporters at a later date.

Berchtold noted it's the team's normal practice to make the
coach and general manager available after they've had time to
assess the year and determine their offseason plans.

Levy took over as a first-time general manager in January 2006, when the
Bills lured him out of retirement following a front-office shakeup
that included the firing of president Tom Donahoe.

Levy previously enjoyed his greatest success in Buffalo as the
team's coach before he retired following the 1997 season. In
11-plus seasons, Levy had a 112-70 record to become the franchise's
winningest coach, and he led the Bills to an unmatched four
consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the 1990s.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

Upon taking over as GM, Levy's first task was hiring Jauron to
replace Mike Mularkey, who abruptly resigned a week after Donahoe
was fired.

Levy's role as GM was relatively undefined, although he provided
input on the team's draft and personnel decisions, consulted with
Jauron and also stayed in close contact with Wilson, who lives in
suburban Detroit.

Levy, however, stayed out of contract talks, leaving that job to
team vice president Jim Overdorf.

Information from ESPN's Chris Mortensen and The Associated Press was used in this report.