Just this past Tuesday, we spent a portion of our day talking about the remaining unsigned Buffalo Bills rookies, headlined, of course, by No. 9 overall pick C.J. Spiller. After seeing two first-round draft picks - safety Donte Whitner and linebacker Aaron Maybin - remain unsigned until at least August 5 in their respective rookie seasons, Bills fans are understandably nervous about the Bills getting their latest first-round pick into the fold early.
It's still early - we remain three weeks away from the start of Bills training camp - but to this point, signs are encouraging that Spiller will be signed sooner rather than later.
First and foremost, Spiller himself mentioned in a July 6 interview with USA Today that his agent, Gary Wichard, planned to begin discussions with the Bills "in the next week or two." Spiller also notes that they plan to use slotting for last year's No. 9 overall pick, Green Bay NT B.J. Raji, as a starting point in the negotiations. As MattRichWarren pointed out on March 2, Spiller is likely to sign a deal in the neighborhood of five years and $26.1 million, with between $18 million and $20 million in guarantees.
Last night, Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the agent for 2010 No. 7 overall pick, Browns cornerback Joe Haden, plans to begin negotiations with Cleveland next week in an effort to get Haden into camp by their July 31 start date (rookies report a day or two earlier than veterans).
The ball is starting to roll on the first-round negotiation process, which is good news, considering how much time we've still got to get through before camp starts.