He was the last of Buffalo's draft class that had yet to sign his rookie contract. On Friday, just a day after the team completed their mandatory minicamp, EJ Manuel signed with the Bills.
"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."
Bills GM Doug Whaley was understandably encouraged knowing he'll have his entire draft class set to go when the team reports to training camp on July 28th, especially his top draft choice, who could prove to be instrumental in the team's fortunes in 2013.
"It's a great feeling, especially with everything wrapping up with minicamp," said Whaley. "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."
Manuel is part of a two-man competition for the starting quarterback job with veteran Kevin Kolb. Kolb was the first quarterback through in the rotation during the team's three-day minicamp, but the reps between the two were split pretty evenly.
Through the course of the spring Manuel has tried to think less about the competition and more about his assignments, his execution and his improvement.
"I thought I got better every day. That's the biggest thing for me just continue to develop and get better each day and continue to work hard," said Manuel. "I feel very comfortable around the coaches, my teammates and the guys on offense as well as defense. I love the competitive nature about the team. It's a great blueprint that I'm happy to be a part of."
Manuel has left a good first impression on his Bills teammates as they head into their six-week break prior to the start of training camp. With a new coaching staff and new offensive scheme, Manuel isn't alone in developing an understanding of everything.
"He's a solid player. He's a good kid," said Stevie Johnson. "In the locker room he's good. Out on the field, same thing. There's going to be ups and downs, but not even just with rookies, but everybody myself included."
Manuel was the only quarterback taken in round one of the 2013 NFL draft with the 16th overall pick.