The Buffalo Bills announced contract agreements with six of their nine draft choices on Thursday.
The deals came a day before the Bills begin a three-day minicamp for rookies. Agreeing to terms were: fourth-round picks Nigel Bradham of Florida State and Ron Brooks of Louisiana State, fifth-round picks Zebrie Sanders of Florida State and Tank Carder of Texas Christian, sixth-round pick Mark Asper of Oregon and seventh-round pick John Potter of Western Michigan.
Rookie signings are coming at a fast pace this spring. The new collective bargaining agreement signed in 2011 included a rookie wage scale that simplified the structure of deals for drafted players and made negotiations easier. Furthermore, the salary cap remained roughly the same as last year, which means rookie deals will be similar to last year's.
Deals for draftees all cover four years. For first-round picks, teams can exercise a fifth-year option for the player's rights. Deals for early fourth-round picks are worth about $2.5 million. Rookies get a base salary of $390,000 in 2012.
Bradham is a 6-foot-2, 241-pound linebacker who led Florida State in tackles three straight years. He had 306 tackles in 53 games, with 39 starts. Brooks, 5-10 and 190 pounds, played in 53 games at cornerback for LSU, starting three. He ran a 40-yard dash time of 4.35 seconds before the draft.
Sanders, a four-year starter at offensive tackle for Florida State, made a school and Atlantic Coast Conference-best 50 career starts,tied for second-most in Seminoles history. The 6-6, 320-pound offensive lineman earned first-team All-ACC honors in 2011.
Carder, a 6-2 and 236-pound linebacker, earned Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-MW accolades following both his junior and senior years at Texas Christian. He finished his career with 228 tackles.
Asper, 6-7 and 325, started 37 of 47 games played at Oregon. The Bills project him as a center and guard. He blocked for the nation's fourth-best offense. Oregon averaged 522.8 yards per game.
The Bills will give Potter a chance to be a kickoff specialist this year. A 6-1, 219-pounder, he converted 47 of 65 field goal attempts and was Western Michigan's career scoring leader with 333 points.