Buffalo Bills sign three draft selections

May, 15, 2014
Less than a week after they joined the team, three draft choices have signed their rookie deals with the Buffalo Bills.

Cornerback Ross Cockrell (fourth round), linebacker Randell Johnson (seventh round) and offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson (seventh round) all inked their deals Thursday.

That leaves four of the Bills' draft choices unsigned: wide receiver Sammy Watkins (first round), offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio (second round), linebacker Preston Brown (third round) and guard Cyril Richardson (fifth round).

Before 2011, teams often waited until late June or July to sign their rookies. The new collective bargaining agreement has essentially made rookie deals non-negotiable, which has sped up the process.

One of the few negotiable points left in rookie contracts is offset language, specifically for players selected in the first 15 picks -- like Watkins. Salaries are fully guaranteed for those players but teams have incorporated "offsets" into those deals where, if a player is cut and joins another team, the original team doesn't have to pay his full salary.

It's worth noting that Watkins' agent is Eugene Parker, who represents former Bills safety Jairus Byrd. Parker and the Bills were engaged in negotiations for over a year until Byrd signed with the Saints in March.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter



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