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Bills sign seven future free agents

The Bills kept them on the practice squad in 2008 for a reason. Now looking ahead to 2009 Buffalo made sure to keep all of them in the fold, signing all seven players on the squad at season's end to future free agent contracts.

OL Chris Denman, LB Vince Hall, WR C.J. Hawthorne, WR Felton Huggins, WR Mike Jefferson, OL Brandon Rodd and DL Marcus Smith.

The eighth practice squad member, RB Bruce Hall was elevated to the active roster in Week 17 when Marshawn Lynch could not dress for the season finale against New England due to a shoulder injury.

Linebacker Marcus Buggs, defensive lineman Corey Mace and defensive back Dustin Fox were also promoted from the practice squad at different times during the regular season due to injury to players on the 53-man roster.

Of the group of future free agents signed, only Huggins, Hawthorne and Rodd were with the club since the beginning of the regular season.

Denman was originally signed to the practice squad the day after the season opener. Smith and Jefferson were both signed in different weeks in November, while Vince Hall was added to the practice squad in December.

Hawthorne and Huggins have been the most impressive through the course of the season as both possess 4.4 speed and have demonstrated steady hands.

They along with fellow receiver Mike Jefferson all figure to have added opportunity in offseason workouts as second-round pick James Hardy will be busy rehabilitating from ACL knee surgery.

Extra reps in OTAs could also potentially exist this spring for Denman and Rodd with Melvin Fowler, Duke Preston and Jason Whittle set to become unrestricted free agents.

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