It’s official: the Bills will have no contract-holdout distractions for training camp.
Third-round draft choice T.J. Graham signed his rookie contract today, meaning all of Buffalo’s rookies are now under contract. In fact, Buffalo currently has no contract disputes or major injuries amongst the roster, so the Bills should enter camp with 90 healthy, active players.
Terms weren’t disclosed, but it was likely a four-year deal in the $3 million range.
With the new NFL rookie wage scale included in the collective bargaining agreement last season, most rookies now sign contracts very quickly. But for some bizarre reason, teams and agents had a tough time with the value of third-round draft picks this year, so it took a while to get some signed. Graham was in that boat.
The pressure was on a bit for Graham, as today was rookie reporting day around the league – rookies with signed contracts can begin working out at team facilities.
But Graham didn’t miss any workouts and never felt like he was in danger in missing any time, saying, “I didn’t feel like I was waiting,” Graham told Buffalobills.com. “I was participating in all of the other workouts this spring.”
Getting Graham into work was important, as the talented but raw speedster from N.C. State needs all the polishing he can get if he’s going to contribute in 2012.
And don’t count that out as a possibility: this team would really love a deep threat on the outside to draw some attention away from Stevie Johnson, Scott Chandler, and what should be an excellent running game. If Graham can develop enough skill that he forces defenses to account for him deep, he’s going to play quite a bit right away.