Rookie QB EJ Manuel signs with Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills signed 1st-round draft pick EJ Manuel to a reported 4-year, $8.9 million contract on Friday, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. Manuel was the first quarterback taken in this year’s draft, and the only one selected in the first round.

The source spoke anonymously since the details have yet to be officially released, according to The Associated Press. The Bills will now have all eight of their draft picks signed in plenty of time for the start of training camp on July 28.

The former Florida State quarterback, Manuel, will be vying for the starting spot for the Bills this season. He will be competing with veteran free-agent signing Kevin Kolb after the release of veteran Tarvaris Jackson.

Manuel’s contract reportedly includes a $4.84 million signing bonus.

Many were surprised when Manuel was taken so early in the draft, with names such as Geno Smith and Matt Barkley still on the draft board, but the strong-armed, mobile Manuel went 25-6 over four years as a Seminole and knows he has a lot of growing to do if he wants to start in the NFL.

“I don’t think that’s anything I have to remind myself of,” Manuel said. “I’m still trying to learn, still trying to get a great feel for my teammates. I’m still trying to earn the respect of the veteran guys as well as the rookies.”

As one of only eight first-round draft picks to have been signed so far, Manuel is ready to put himself to the test in the NFL.

“I thought I got better every day,” Manuel said, via BuffaloBills.com. “That’s the biggest thing for me just to continue to develop and get better each day and continue to work hard. I feel very comfortable around the coaches, my teammates and the guys on offense as well as defense. I love the competitive nature about the team. It’s a great blueprint that I’m happy to be a part of.”

Manuel and first-year coach Doug Marrone are coming into a Bills team with a bevy of offensive talent led by running back C. J. Spiller and wide receiver Stevie Johnson, as they look to provide the New England Patriots with some competition in the AFC East.

Categories: Football