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Former Bills offensive lineman Joe O’Donnell dies at 77

BuffaloBills.com Former Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Joe O’Donnell, who played in the AFL, NFL, and eventually the WFL, has died.
He was 77.
Via Mark Gaughn of the Buffalo News, O’Donnell played in 91 games with the Bills from 1964 through 1971, helping the team to AFL titles in 1964 and 1965.
O’Donnell chose the Bills over Vince Lombardi’s Packers, even though the Packers drafted O’Donnell 10 rounds lower (13) than the Bills did (three).
He played right tackle early in his career, slid to right guard for the 1965 AFL championship game, and remained there.
“He and Jack Kemp were the two leaders on our team,” former Bills teammate Marlin Briscoe told BuffaloBills.com.
“He also helped me and encouraged me.” Traded to the then-St. Louis Cardinals in 1972 (after the AFL-NFL merger), O’Donnell opted to retire in lieu of playing for the Cardinals.
He unretired in 1974 to play for Birmingham of the WFL, winning a championship in the inaugural season of the short-lived alternative to the NFL.
We extend our condolences to O’Donnell’s family, friends, and former teammates.

BuffaloBills.com

Former Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Joe O’Donnell, who played in the AFL, NFL, and eventually the WFL, has died. He was 77.

Via Mark Gaughn of the Buffalo News, O’Donnell played in 91 games with the Bills from 1964 through 1971, helping the team to AFL titles in 1964 and 1965.

O’Donnell chose the Bills over Vince Lombardi’s Packers, even though the Packers drafted O’Donnell 10 rounds lower (13) than the Bills did (three). He played…

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