May 11, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills first round draft pick cornerback Stephon Gilmore (27) during rookie mini camp at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE

Stephon Gilmore Signs Rookie Contract


Last year’s NFL Lockout was awful experience. But whatever you think of the eventual outcome of that deal, I think we can all agree on one thing: the fact that new collective bargaining agreement included a rookie wage scale is an awesome thing. No more watching one first round pick after another miss the first month of preseason due to contact haggling. Now everyone knows the general deal, and it is just fine-tuning the details before the deal is done.

Today reinforced how awesome that system is, as Bills first round selection Stephon Gilmore has signed his rookie contract. Terms were not disclosed, but it is probably a fully guaranteed four-year deal worth around $12 million.

Gilmore is very happy to have his deal done and to be free to focus on footbal:

“It feels good to get it over with and I’m just ready to get back to work now…I love playing football and that’s the main reason I play so I wasn’t going to let (the contract) be a distraction. I wasn’t really worried about it. I knew Buffalo was going to come through. Now I can just focus on football and do what I do.”

Gilmore can now focus his full attention on his upcoming rookie year and what should be a rather spirited battle for playing time amongst the cornerbacks during training camp. Veterans Terrence McGee and Leodis McKelvin will be challenged by a batch of young talent led by Gilmore that also includes sec0nd-year men Aaron Williams and Justin Rogers.

The Bills signed all of their lower-round picks last week, so the only Bills rookies currently not signed to contracts are second-round pick OT Cordy Glenn and WR T.J. Graham, the team’s third-round selection.

Russ Brandon on WhoSay

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