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Bills announce signing of first-round pick Stephon Gilmore

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
The Bills announced they signed Gilmore to a contract Thursday. (US Presswire)

The good news for Buffalo's offseason keeps rolling in on Wednesday, as the Bills announced they signed their first-round pick, cornerback Stephon Gilmore out of South Carolina, to his rookie contract.

The team did not announce the length or value of the deal, but NFL Network's Albert Breer reports that Gilmore got a four-year deal worth $12.1 million (all of it guaranteed) with a fifth-year option.

"I love playing football and that's the main reason I play so I wasn't going to let (the contract) be a distraction," Gilmore said Wednesday. "I wasn't really worried about it. I knew Buffalo was going to come through. Now I can just focus on football and do what I do."

Buffalo became the second top-10 team to lock up its first-round pick from the 2012 NFL Draft on Wednesday after the Panthers signed linebacker Luke Kuechly to a reported four-year, $12.58 million deal last week.

Gilmore's impressed coach Chan Gailey with his coverage skills during the rookie minicamp, picking three passes in just four practices.

"He did a great job during the weekend," Gailey said recently. "He is a big, long corner that can run and has a great feel for the game. He did a very good job during the weekend."

Gilmore was a two-time All-SEC selection at South Carolina and recorded 181 tackles, 17 pass break-ups, eight interceptions and seven sacks in 40 career games (and starts) for the Gamecocks.

If he's as effective for Buffalo as he was in the SEC, the already crowded "Bills back to the playoffs" bandwagon is going to get full pretty quickly.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.
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