The unexpected logjam of unsigned picks at the beginning of the third round of the 2012 NFL draft showed some movement today, and the beginning of training camp for the Buffalo Bills rookie class was the reason.
Bills' third-round wide receiver TJ Graham reached an agreement with the team, according to Chris Brown from the team's official website. Now, the entire Bills rookie class is under contract as they begin workouts at the team facility a few weeks ahead of the rest of the team reporting to training camp.
The terms of Graham's contract are currently undisclosed, but hopefully, the contract will provide a yardstick for the rest of the players at the top of the third round to get their deals done. Len Pasquarelli of the Sports Xchange reported that the inability of teams to get the first nine picks of the round signed centered around disagreements over the amount of the allowed 25 percent annual raise the prospects would get in their first deal.
Graham was the sixth pick of the round, so his deal should encourage the prospects below him to not ask for more of a raise than he got, and the teams who selected players above him to not offer less than the raise he got from Buffalo.
If the third-round contracts can fall into place, the last real obstacle to a holdout-free open to training camp will be getting the top of the first round to sign on the dotted line.