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WR Moulds faces former team for first time

Nov 14, 2006 - 8:12 PM Buffalo (3-6) at Houston (3-6) Sunday 1:00 pm EST

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Eric Moulds faces his former team for the first time on Sunday when the Houston Texans host the Buffalo Bills.

The Texans acquired the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver from the Bills last April for a fifth-round draft pick.

Moulds, 33, had two years left on his contract with the Bills, but refused to restructure his base salary of $7.1 million in 2006 and was shipped to the Texans.

"We had hoped to keep Eric," Bills general manager Marv Levy said. "But he had a high (salary) cap figure and there was an unwillingness on his part to renegotiate his contract, so we really had no alternative but to make the trade."

Moulds promptly agreed to a four-year deal worth $14 million with Houston after the trade was completed.

A first-round pick in 1996, Moulds caught 675 passes for 9,096 yards and 48 touchdowns in 10 seasons with the Bills. Last season, he had 81 receptions for 816 yards and four scores.

In Houston, Moulds has helped to ease the double teams off of Andre Johnson. Without an effective complement last season, Johnson caught just 63 passes for 688 yards. This year with Moulds lined up with him, Johnson leads the NFL with 68 receptions for 808 yards and four touchdowns.

No longer a No. 1 receiver, Moulds has 34 catches for 363 yards this season.

Cornerbacks Nate Clements and Terrence McGee will cover Johnson and Moulds on Sunday. Clements and McGee limited Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison to a combined six catches for 63 yards and a touchdown in a 17-16 loss at Indianapolis last week.

If Moulds stayed in Buffalo, he would have played the role of a complementary receiver to Lee Evans, who has 44 receptions for 557 yards and two touchdowns. Peerless Price is in that role now for Buffalo and has just 27 catches for 231 yards.

The Bills play conservatively with J.P. Losman at quarterback and rely heavily on their running game. Despite the absence of leading rusher Willis McGahee last week, Buffalo still played a ball-control game and Anthony Thomas produced 109 yards on 28 carries.

The Texans intercepted David Garrard four times in a 13-10 win at Jacksonville last week.

Houston's David Carr threw for just 167 yards before leaving with a shoulder injury. He will play this weekend.

The teams met in the 2005 season opener at Buffalo and the Bills posted a 22-7 victory. Rian Lindell kicked five field goals and the Bills recorded three interceptions and sacked Carr five times. Defensive end Aaron Schobel had two of the sacks. He leads the Bills with seven sacks this season.

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