The Buffalo Bills took the 1st step in securing their offensive line’s long term future by signing beginning right guard Kraig Urbik to a 4-year contract extension.
The deal locks up Urbik through 2016 and is worth $13.3 million, including a $3.5 million signing bonus for this season, a person familiar with the contract said. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity as the team did not reveal the length or financial terms of the contract.
It’s a significant raise for 4th-year player, who had confirmed a $1.26 million contract tender in April. Urbik is set to make a base salary of $2.05 million next year and $2.9 million in 2016, the person related. He’s also eligible to make additional money thru roster and workout bonuses, and playing-time incentives.
Urbik is completing his 3rd year with the Buffalo Bills, who claimed him off waivers in September 2010 after he was released by Pittsburgh. The Steelers had selected Urbik in the 3rd round out of Wisconsin in the 2009 draft.
Listed at 6-foot-5 and 324 pounds, Urbik has provided a steadying and versatile presence since moving into a starting role last season. He’s played both guard and center, and has 26 starts – including 11 this season – in 34 games with Bills.
The signing came with Buffalo (5-9) set to shut out its season with 2 meaningless games after being eliminated from playoff contention for a 13th straight year. The Buffalo played at Miami (6-8) on Sunday, and then host N.Y Jets (6-8) on Dec. 30.
Later in the day, the Buffalo Bills made several roster moves, including placing starting receiver Donald Jones on the reserve/non-football illness list. The Bills did not show the character of the illness.
Jones’ agent, Cliff LaBoy, related the illness is not significant, and is related to a calf injury that forced his client to miss 2 of the past 3 games. Jones first began experiencing tightness in his calf last month, and was held out of a 34-18 win over Jacksonville on December 2.
Jones is 3rd on the team with 41 catches for 443 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Buffalo filled up the 2 open roster spots by promoting receiver Chris Hogan and linebacker Greg Lloyd from its practice squad.
With Urbik locked up, the Bills can now turn their attention on securing 2 more starting linemen.
Left guard Andy Levitre, who has been the line’s most consistent player, is completing the last year of his contract. Center Eric Wood has one year left on his deal. NFL spreads
Though open to re-signing with the Bills, Levitre said last week that he was unaware of any contract talks taking place.
The Buffalo Bills have spent the previous 3 seasons revamping their line, which also may include left tackle, Cordy Glenn, a rookie 2nd-round pick.
The line allowed an AFC-low 23 sacks last season and helped the Bills finish with 1,921 yards rushing – the team’s highest total since 2000. This season, the Bills are tied for 7th in the AFC with 28 sacks, and feature the NFL’s 6th best rushing attack.