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The Bills‘ future in Orchard Park is secure for the short term. The team negotiated a 10-year lease in December 2012 with the state and county to continue playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The agreement includes a provision that essentially locks in the Bills through the first seven seasons. The franchise would have to pay $400 million if it decides to leave before 2019. The team then has an option of buying out the remaining three years of the lease for $28 million.

Under Wilson, the Bills produced 10 Hall of Famers, including himself and Smith. The others were Kelly, Levy, Thomas, O.J. Simpson, offensive linemen Billy Shaw and Joe DeLamielleure, receiver James Lofton and receiver Andre Reed, who will be inducted this year.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1918, Wilson moved to Detroit three years later when his father, Ralph Wilson Sr., took a sales job at an auto dealership. The father turned to insurance and in the mid-1930s landed a deal with Chrysler Corp.

Among Wilson’s first moves upon taking over his father’s insurance business in 1959 was selling his minor share in the Lions and joining up with Lamar Hunt and Bud Adams to help found the AFL.

In 1964, Wilson traveled to the Winter Games at Innsbruck, Austria - where he slept on the floor of a reporter’s room because all the hotels were booked - to help broker the AFL’s landmark TV deal with NBC.

Wilson still carried influence with Goodell, who leaned on the Bills owner for advice, and among current NFL owners.

Shahid Khan reached out to Wilson for advice before completing his purchase of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012.

“Given his legacy as a builder and visionary, I imagine Ralph was able to relate to my dream to one day join him as a team owner,” Khan said. “I’ll never forget his kindness and will always treasure the letter he wrote welcoming my family to the NFL.”

Wilson wore the “Foolish Club” badge with honor.

“What a damn fool I was,” he told the AP in 2009. “But I didn’t care. I just wanted to own a team.”

In 1998, Wilson received the “Order of the Leather Helmet” from the NFL Alumni Association for his contributions to professional football.

Wilson always maintained a healthy perspective in regards to what mattered when it came to football, including his place in the game.

When asked about the fragmented state of football in the mid-1990s, Wilson joked: “It’s such a great game, it’ll survive us.”

Funeral arrangements have not yet been determined.

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