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Bills Draft Picks 2011: Signing Marcell Dareus

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Last week, in clearing a major hurdle toward reaching a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, NFL owners and players agreed to a new rookie wage system. Per the few reported details of the agreement, first-round picks will sign five-year contracts, the fifth year will be club optional, and yearly salaries are obviously being dramatically reduced.

NFL.com's Jason La Canfora tweeted last week that he's hearing that quarterback Cam Newton, the first overall pick in this past April's draft, will sign for somewhere in the five-year, $35 million range. Not knowing how the system works - aside from the fact that it is not a scale, and leaves room for negotiation - we can take a stab at trying to figure out how much it'll take the Buffalo Bills to sign Marcell Dareus.

Newton's $7 million annual figure is just over half of the $13 million annually that Sam Bradford signed for in 2010. Applying the same ratio to last year's third overall pick, Gerald McCoy, Dareus could theoretically sign for 53.8 percent of the $12.68 million annual figure that McCoy signed for. That would be about $6.83 million annually, which over five years would pay $34.15 million.

That's not a huge pay decrease from Newton's top overall money, but keep in mind this doesn't factor in guaranteed money whatsoever. What's your take, Bills fans: is five years and $34.15 million still too costly to sign a Top 5 pick?