EJ Manuel never lost a bowl game in his four years as the starter at Florida State. His efforts, combined with his 6-foot-5, 240-pound frame, helped lead to Manuel’s No. 16-overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills.
Now, all of these conditions have come together to make Manuel a millionaire. On Friday, the Bills rookie signed a four-year contract with the team. It is worth a total of $8.9 million and every last penny is fully guaranteed, according to FoxSports.com‘s Peter Schrager. It also includes 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 BuffaloBills.com. “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.”
First-year coach Doug Marrone chose Manuel over his former star with Syracuse, Ryan Nassib. The choice was a surprise, to say the least, especially when considering that Geno Smith, rated the No. 1 player at the position, was still available when the Bills announced that Manuel was their future.
But newly hired general manager Doug Whaley is thrilled with the choice, and excited to see Manuel sign on the dotted line.
“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.”
For Manuel, yes, it will be “full go.” However, the former Noles star is only the first Bills draft pick to actually sign his rookie tender, so Whaley’s work is far from over.
The NFL’s still-relatively infant rookie wage scale should make things relatively simple for Whaley — just like when it came to Manuel’s deal. Under the NFL’s new signing rules for draftees, every contract must be four years in length and wages are set by a sliding scale. There is a condition that only pertains to first-rounders such as Manuel, and that has to do with an option for a fifth year. A team may choose to exercise that option after a first-rounder’s third year, but not before his fourth. Thus, immediately after the draft itself, the only real sticking points can be things such as signing bonuses, which Manuel and the team were able to iron out just fine.
[H/T: CBS Sports]