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Bills sign first-round pick EJ Manuel

By Ryan Wilson |

EJ Manuel will reportedly earn $8.9 million over the course of his four-year contract. (USATSI)
EJ Manuel, the Bills' first-round pick (16th overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft and the team's quarterback of the future, signed his contract Friday. He was the final member of Buffalo's draft class to do so.

Terms of the deal, via's Peter Schrager: four years, $8.9 million -- fully guaranteed -- with a $4.84 million signing bonus.

“It's a great feeling and I'm excited to be truly part of the team now,” Manuel told “I had no doubt at all. I knew I was going to be here and it was going to be done before training camp. I'm just glad it was done earlier instead of later.”

In one of the biggest surprises of the first round, the Bills selected the former Florida State standout over Syracuse's Ryan Nassib, who played for new coach Doug Marrone in college, and West Virginia's Geno Smith, generally considered the best quarterback in the class.

Recently promoted general manager Doug Whaley, who played an integral role in bringing Manuel to Buffalo, is glad his rookie quarterback has one less distraction as he heads into his first season.

“It's a great feeling, especially with everything wrapping up with minicamp,” Whaley said. “Going into the so called offseason it's a settling feeling to know that we don't have to worry about him being ready. Once it's reporting date it's full go.”

Manuel said earlier this offseason that the Bills' offense was "easier to learn" than Florida State's, though offensive coordinator was a tad more conservative in his assessment.

“He's a young man that's got to work on a lot of things from footwork to progressions to plays to formations, everything," Bills OC Nathaniel Hackett said last month. "Defenses in the NFL are obviously a little different. He's got to work on that too. He's got to work on everything.”

And Friday, Manuel sounded like he fully embraced that idea.

“I thought I got better every day," he said. "That's the biggest thing for me just 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.”

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