Posted by Josh Alper on May 17, 2012, 9:54 AM EDT
In another sign that we’re living in a different NFL, a second top 10 draft pick from April has agreed to a contract more than a week before Memorial Day.
The Bills announced Thursday that they have signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the 10th overall pick in the first round. Like all the other first rounders, Gilmore’s deal is for four years with a team option for a fifth year. According to Albert Breer of NFL.com, the total value of the four years is about $12.1 million and the option would cost the Bills whatever the transition tag for cornerbacks is in 2015. Linebacker Luke Kuechly was the first top 10 pick to agree to a contract.
It is hard to imagine a Buffalo starting defense in Week One that doesn’t include Gilmore. His mix of size and speed give him an edge over the other Bills cornerbacks and the team’s talk about putting him on tight ends like Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski at points this season. Gilmore earned heaps of praise from the Bills after their rookie minicamp, which only adds to the likelihood that Aaron Williams and Terrence McGee are fighting to start opposite Gilmore this season.
The Bills have now signed seven of their nine draft picks. Guard/tackle Cordy Glenn and wide receiver T.J. Graham remain unsigned.