Bills training camp: What would it mean if team returns to St. John Fisher this summer?

The league is relaxing COVID-19 regulations, allowing teams to go away to camp, pending approval of submitted plans.
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The Bills didn't seem to be affected by missing their annual trek to St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y. for training camp last year. They won their first four games, albeit by a combined total of 23 points. Then kept going all the way to the AFC Championship Game.

Still, it has to be encouraging for them to know they have that option again following the NFL's ruling on Friday that, pending approval by the league on plans that must be submitted, teams may hold training camp away from their premises again after being forced by the coronavirus pandemic to stay home last year.

The Bills, coached by Andy Reid disciple Sean McDermott, are one of only 10 teams who still hold training camp remotely.

"I've always been a proponent of going away," he told the team's website last year. "I think we're one of the few teams that still do go away. I just believe in that for a lot of reasons. I think it builds fellowship and camaraderie and anytime you can share an experience I think that bodes well for building community chemistry, and the like, which are so important in my opinion to building a good team."

All you have to do is look at this offseason and all the players who took pay cuts on existing contracts or less money to stay with the Bills than they could have made elsewhere after their contracts expired.

Linebacker Matt Milano, center Mitch Morse, defensive end Mario Addison and defensive tackle Vernon Butler are among them.

Could a return to training camp draw a team that's already clearly tighter than most together even more?

The Bills held training camp on their premises for the first time last season. Their fans are hoping it will be the last.

They had been visiting St. John Fisher College since 2000. Previous locations were SUNY-Fredonia (1981-1999), Niagara University (1968-1980), The Sheraton Camelot Motor Inn (1963-1967) and the Roycroft Inn & Knox Estates in East Aurora, N.Y. (1960-1962).

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro.