Pre-Season League Insider 4.0

Buffalo Bills rookie MLB Paul Poslusny

Will Buffalo get their key draft selections signed on time? Why isn't a prominent member of the Steeler offensive line holding out? Answers to these issues and more in the latest version of the league insider.

Buffalo's Top Picks Remain Unsigned

The agent for MLB Paul Posluszny told us he does not expect the Buffalo Bills to sign his client until just prior to the opening of camp. Other sources have told us there has been no dialogue at all between the team and first-round pick RB Marshawn Lynch

This is risky according to insiders as Buffalo cannot afford a holdout by Lynch. With veteran RB Anthony Thomas still No.1 on the depth chart, Lynch needs to be signed on time for camp if he wants to be the opening game starter and it's critical the first year player get quickly acclimated to the their offense. Lynch is also expected to be their third-down back this season.

The team has only three of their 2007 draft class under contract.

The latest to agree to a deal was FB/TE Derek Schouman. He signed a four-year deal with a signing bonus of $55,000.


Faneca Update

Back in March, we were told Pittsburgh Steelers G Alan Faneca would not attend the team's minicamp, yet he did. We were then told he would sit out pre-season but he announced last week he will arrive on time. So why the empty threats? 

A league source close to Faneca told us the perennial All-Pro tried everything possible to force the Steelers into trading him. Yet, as we noted in March, the team decided immediately after the NFL combine they would not move Faneca unless a blockbuster deal came around, which it did not. Sources told us late last week Faneca intends to play out the season then sign with another team in free agency next year.

Speaking of the Steelers, a number of sources have told us they hope the team quickly signs first round draft pick Lawrence Timmons. As the 15th pick of the draft, much of the market in the first round will be based off of the former Florida St. University star's contract.


Philadelphia Inks Late Round Selection

The Philadelphia Eagles signed five of their 2007 draft class by the end of May. Their latest signing of former University of Hawaii FB Nate Ilaoa came almost two months later.

He signed a four-year deal with base salaries of: 2007: $285,000  2008: $370,000  2009: $460,000  2010: $550,000 and with a signing bonus of $45,000.

As is the case with the other rookies under contract, a league source points out Ilaoa stands to lose $10,000 in any season where he doesn't participate in at least 80% of the team's OTAs.

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