UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
NFL

Bills WR Sammy Watkins signs rookie deal

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Bills signed first-round pick Sammy Watkins to his rookie contract Wednesday.

The Bills announced the signing shortly after the team's first session of organized team activities.

''It's great just to put all that behind me, just to know you have financial stability,'' Watkins said. ''Now it's just all football. Every day I have to come in and worry about football and my plays and my job and just work out there.''

Buffalo is counting on Watkins to immediately step into the starting lineup for a team that has not been to the playoffs since 1999, the NFL's longest current drought.

The Bills moved up five spots in the draft in a trade with the Cleveland Browns to select Watkins fourth overall. The 6-foot-1, 211-pound wideout is known for his playmaking abilities and has tremendous speed and hands.

Wednesday was Watkins' first official practice with quarterback EJ Manuel and the rest of the offense. He lined up with the starting unit at receiver alongside fellow offseason acquisition Mike Williams.

Watkins and Manuel had a slow start to the session. An early pass intended for Watkins was off the mark and intercepted by cornerback Corey Graham.

But the duo responded accordingly. The two later hooked up for receptions over the middle and down the left sideline.

''It's coming along,'' Watkins said. ''We've got a lot to work on, a lot of different routes and schemes we've got to clean up a little bit. But it's a process.''

Watkins will miss Buffalo's remaining two sessions this week as he heads to Los Angeles to participate in the 2014 NFLPA Rookie Premiere. He made it clear he would prefer to be on the football field adjusting to life with the Bills.

''I would rather stay here and get the connection with the quarterback. I don't want to fall behind,'' Watkins said. ''It's kind of sad that I have to leave for three to four days and everybody has that two to three days ahead of me. So I really have to study the plays and get out there running and training, not get behind too far.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

More NFL

Close

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Bookmarks.
  3. Select Bookmark manager.
  4. Locate your current Sports Illustrated bookmark, click the Organize menu, then select Edit. You can now easily update the web address of your Sports Illustrated bookmark.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. Click the Safari bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. This will open the Bookmarks Bar. In the Bookmarks Bar, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Address field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click the Firefox bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Show All Bookmarks.
  3. This will open the library window. In the Library window, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Location field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.
Don't Show This Again