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Coming off earning starting job, Bills sign OL Butler to extension

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Offensive lineman Brad Butler signed a contract extension with the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday, a reward after the player took over the starting right guard spot last season.

Terms of the extension were not immediately available, but Butler's new deal is expected to provide him a significant raise over the $445,000 base salary he was scheduled to make this season. Buffalo's fifth-round pick in the 2006 draft out of Virginia, Butler had two years left on his contract and was scheduled to make a base salary of $530,000 in 2009.

After appearing in only two games as a rookie, Butler won the starting job out of training camp last season on a revamped line that included high-priced free agent additions Derrick Dockery at left guard and Langston Walker at right tackle. Butler started all 16 games and was part of a unit that allowed only 26 sacks last season, 21 fewer than in 2006.

The Bills offensive line is still unsettled, with left tackle Jason Peters holding out for a new contract. Peters was fined by the team after failing to attend Buffalo's two mandatory minicamp practices earlier this month.

The Bills also signed rookie tight end Derek Fine, the second of Buffalo's two fourth-round draft picks, on Wednesday. Selected 132nd overall in April, Fine was a three-year starter at Kansas, where he set the school record for tight ends with 98 career receptions. He finished with 1,009 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns.

Fine is expected to compete for a backup spot behind returning starter Robert Royal. He is the third of Buffalo's 10 draft picks to sign with the team.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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