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Contract talks between Bills, first-round draft pick Maybin remain stalled

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Contract talks between the Buffalo Bills and first-round draft pick Aaron Maybin are stalled, and neither side is offering positive signs that a deal is close.

Neither the team nor Maybin's camp will offer specifics on how far apart they are, but the Bills are becoming concerned that the defensive end, selected 11th overall out of Penn State, will not report soon enough to be ready for the regular season in less than four weeks.

Age: 21

Height: 6-4  Weight: 250

College: Penn State

Experience: Rookie

As of Tuesday, Maybin has missed 21 practices, 15 walkthroughs, countless film-study sessions and two preseason games since the Bills opened camp in suburban Rochester on July 25. And it's becoming increasingly likely that Maybin won't take one snap at St. John Fisher College because the Bills' final day of camp is Wednesday, after which they will relocate to their headquarters in Orchard Park for the remainder of the preseason.

"You're always concerned, no matter who it is," Bills coach Dick Jauron told The Associated Press after practice Tuesday. But Jauron wouldn't say whether Maybin's absence is disrupting his plans.

"If the guy's not on the roster, you don't have plans for him," Jauron said. "We'd love to get him in as soon as we can. I know they're working at it, and I know our people are certainly working at it. I hope it happens fast."

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, Maybin is a fast, aggressive pass-rushing specialist who's expected to immediately help a defense that registered just 24 sacks last season, finishing in a tie with the Washington Redskins for fifth-fewest in the NFL. The Bills believe Maybin is versatile enough to eventually spend time at linebacker.

The last time there was any reported dialogue between the two sides was this past weekend.

Bills general manager Russ Brandon has declined comment except to shake his head "No," in what'= has become a daily response to questions of whether there are any developments in negotiations with Maybin.

Maybin's agent, Chafie Fields, maintained his position against publicly discussing the status of negotiations in a brief telephone interview Monday night.

The Bills have three preseason games left. It's unlikely Maybin will sign in time to play Saturday, when Buffalo travels to Green Bay to meet the Packers.

"That's tough because we'd obviously love to have him here," Bills linebacker Paul Posluszny said. "Hopefully, we can get him in here soon, but it's definitely getting to the point now where we need him in here."

Posluszny was a senior at Penn State when Maybin was a redshirt freshman. The two have kept in touch by text message.

"Every time he sees us play, he's dying," Posluszny said.

Maybin entered the draft after just two seasons at college and not even a full one as a starter. Though he played in 13 games last season, Maybin didn't take over as a full-time starter until the fourth week. Despite the late start, Maybin went on to lead the Big Ten Conference with 12 sacks and was voted a first team All-American.

Signing status of top picks

Bills DE Aaron Maybin is

one of three rookies yet to sign a contract with their respective team. Keep track as teams sign their top choices. **The list ...**

Maybin is one of just three first-round picks who have yet to sign. The others are offensive tackle Andre Smith, selected sixth overall by the Cincinnati Bengals, and wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers at No. 10, one spot ahead of Maybin.

Maybin's publicist, former NFL linebacker LaVar Arrington, previously pinned part of the blame for the stalled talks on Crabtree. Rookie contracts are traditionally slotted in descending order of where the player was drafted, and with Crabtree unsigned, it makes it difficult to determine Maybin's value.

But that was a week ago, and the argument is less likely to hold up now because enough players selected near Maybin have signed. That includes two defensive linemen: Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji, the No. 9 pick; and Redskins defensive end Brian Orakpo, the No. 13 selection.

As a result, Maybin's value should fall somewhere between the respective five-year contracts signed by Raji ($28.5 million, with $18 million guaranteed) and Orakpo ($20 million, with $12.1 million guaranteed).

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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