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First-round draft pick Ed Oliver among seven drafted rookies signed by Bills

The Buffalo Bills have nearly their entire draft class under contract, a day before the start of rookie minicamp.

The team announced Thursday evening that seven members of their eight-man draft class have been signed, highlighted by first-round pick Ed Oliver, the defensive tackle out of Houston.

The others signed Thursday include Oklahoma offensive tackle Cody Ford (second round), Florida A&M running back Devin Singletary (third round), Florida linebacker Vosean Joseph (fifth round), Miami safety JaQuan Johnson (sixth round), North Carolina A&T defensive end Darryl Johnson Jr. and Boston College tight end Tommy Sweeney (seventh round).

The lone member not to sign so far is Ole Miss tight end Dawson Knox, the team's second third-round draft pick. All of the rookie contracts are for four years, with the Bills holding a team option for a fifth on Oliver's deal. Rookie contracts are slotted based on draft positioning, with Oliver's deal as the ninth overall draft pick paying him just under $20 million, according to a report from Houston Chronicle reporter Aaron Wilson.

According to Wilson, $12.239 million of that will come in the form of a signing bonus. Oliver was named an All-American all three seasons with the Cougars, finishing his career with 193 tackles, 13.5 sacks and six forced fumbles.

Additionally, the Bills have agreed to contracts with the following eight rookie undrafted free agents: Texas A&M linebacker Tyrel Dodson, Iowa wide receiver Nick Easley, Charlotte linebacker Juwan Foggie, Northwestern offensive lineman Blake Hance, Illinois kicker Chase McLaughlin, West Virginia receiver David Sills and a pair of University at Buffalo players – quarterback Tyree Jackson and cornerback Cam Lewis.

Undrafted free agents sign three-year contracts that in 2018 were worth $1.71 million over the life of the contract, with a minimum salary of $480,000 per year.

With Thursday's additions, the Bills have 88 players on their active roster (including Knox), two below the 90-man limit. That total does not include Knox or running back Christian Wade,  who was allocated to the Bills through the NFL's International Player Pathway Program and does not count against the 90-man roster.

That means the team has two available roster spots, which could go to either tryout players who will compete this weekend at rookie minicamp or possibly to still-unsigned free agents.


In other Bills news, the team will reportedly host tight end Lee Smith on a free-agent visit. Smith, 31, played for the Bills from 2011-14. He was recently released after four seasons with the Oakland Raiders. For his career, he has 56 receptions for 392 yards and seven touchdowns, playing primarily in a blocking role.

Smith's visit came to light during an appearance by veteran linebacker Lorenzo Alexander on the team's radio show, One Bills Live.

“Most rooms have a guy that’s at least been in the league six or seven years," Alexander said. "I’m just kind of going through it real quick in my mind. Maybe the only position that doesn’t have that is probably tight end. That’s why you have a guy like Lee Smith coming in on a visit.”

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