Friday, August 30, 2013

With new deal, Wood only focused on football


Eric Wood could've gotten through the final year of his rookie contract with little trouble, but the 27-year-old center preferred to know where he'd be beyond the next seven months.

So did his team.

The Buffalo Bills announced Friday they gave Wood, a 2009 first-round draft pick, a multi-year contract extension. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, though they were obviously positive enough to have Wood resting easy a week before the start of the regular season.

"From this point on, all of my focus is on no contract, no outside distractions and that was extremely important," Wood told reporters Friday. "I thought if it did linger on I was mature enough that it wouldn’t affect my play, that it wouldn’t affect my preparation, but deep down just knowing that the risk of something happening or maybe a poor performance could affect a contract, that could definitely come in to play."

Wood is certainly aware of the "risk of something happening," as the fifth-year offensive lineman played through a torn MCL at the end of last season after missing the second half of 2011 to a torn ACL. In 2009, Wood missed the final stretch of games to a compound fracture in his leg before sitting out a couple games in 2010 due to an ankle ailment.

In total, Wood has missed 17 games in four years to injury, though his persistence and solid production when he was on the field was enough for the Bills to want him in the picture long-term.

"Obviously we’re thrilled to have Eric in the fold for many years to come," Bills president Russ Brandon said. "He embodies everything that we talk about. He’s tough, he’s aggressive, he’s a competitor and he’s a dynamic leader. That’s what we’re looking to build here in Buffalo."

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