It took a lot of give and take over the past week or so between the Bills and the C.J. Spiller camp, but after painstaking efforts on both sides Buffalo's top draft choice has been signed.
"It feels great," Spiller told Buffalobills.com. "First off I just have to give thanks to God. He's the one that made all this possible. It was a tough time, but at the same time it was all business and everybody was working around the clock to make sure that a deal was able to get done so I could get to training camp be with my teammates and get to work."
The ninth overall pick in the 2010 draft, Spiller was one of just two remaining unsigned first-round picks along with Seattle's Russell Okung. Buffalo's top pick has missed the first full week of training camp, and admitted it wasn't easy waiting it out.
"Oh yeah because football is what I've always done," said Spiller. "Around this time back at Clemson we would've started camp. Sitting there waiting to get that call of course is difficult. But that's why I had my daughter with me so she could take some of those thoughts away and some of that distraction."
Despite missing 12 practices Spiller did what he could to stay sharp by keeping in contact with a handful of his teammates.
"Even though I wasn't here physically I still wanted to try to make sure I was here mentally," said Spiller. "I did a great job of staying in contact with Trent (Edwards), Fred (Jackson) and Joique (Bell), and all the guys were supportive of me. They all told me to make sure that I handled myself professionally and once I get here be ready to go to work."
Spiller signed his deal in Pittsford Friday afternoon and immediately joined his teammates for meetings. He's expected to be in attendance at the team's night practice this evening.
"He did a great job in OTAs and minicamps," said head coach Chan Gailey. "But being here now is a different game."
"The main thing is just to continue to just go work hard," Spiller said. "Of course it's going to be different, now you've got the pads on. Coach's famous motto is it's a tough game for tough people, but I'm looking forward to it. So I'm just going to continue to do what I do and that's work hard and show my teammates that I'm excited to be here."