Bills sign top pick CB Gilmore to 4-year deal
Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore is ready to compete for a
starting job, after the first-round draft pick signed a four-year
contract worth about $12 million on Thursday.
The deal was announced by the team, and included Buffalo CEO
Russ Brandon posting a photo on his Twitter account of Gilmore
signing his contract.
”It’s official,” Brandon wrote. ”Nice way to start the
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, Gilmore was drafted 10th
overall after a three-year career at South Carolina, where he
started all 40 games and was a two-time All-Southeastern Conference
selection. The contract includes an option for fifth year.
The Bills have already opened room for Gilmore to take over
after they released veteran starter Drayton Florence last week. And
the signing came days after Gilmore got his first taste of the NFL
in taking part in the Bills three-day rookie minicamp last
In four practices, Gilmore had several pass break ups and at
least one interception while showing off his coverage skills. He
was both fast on his feet in covering receivers deep, and also
showed he’s capable of bumping opponents coming off the line of
After the minicamp, Gilmore expected to have the contract
completed by the end of this week, and is now happy to get it out
of the way.
”I wasn’t going to let it be a distraction. I wasn’t really
worried about it,” Gilmore said in a statement released by the
team. ”I knew it was going to come through. Now I can just focus
on football and do what I want to do.”
Gilmore was the second cornerback selected in the draft, behind
LSU’s Morris Claiborne, who was picked sixth by Dallas.
The next step for Gilmore comes on May 29, when he will get an
opportunity to line up against veteran receivers once the Bills
open a monthlong series of minicamps.
”Oh yeah, I’m ready to see what the vets have going on,”
Gilmore said last weekend. ”I’m going to play with confidence, and
I’m going to still do what I know, and go from there.”
Gilmore made a good first impression on coach Chan Gailey, who
noted both the player’s athleticism and confident approach.
Gilmore becomes the seventh of Buffalo’s nine draft picks to
sign with the team. The only players left unsigned are Buffalo’s
second- and third-round picks, offensive tackle Cordy Glenn and
receiver T.J. Graham.
Gilmore is the latest addition to a defense that’s been rebuilt
this offseason, and to be overseen by Dave Wannstedt, who takes
over as coordinator after George Edwards was fired in January. The
Bills have already addressed improving their pass rush in free
agency, when they signed defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark
Anderson in March.
The moves were made in a bid to improve a defense that allowed a
franchise-worst 5,938 yards last season. Buffalo is coming off a
6-10 finish to miss the playoffs for a 12th straight year.