ORCHARD PARK, NY - Late this afternoon the Buffalo Bills announced that C Eric Wood has signed a contract extension with the team. In accordance with team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 6-4, 310-pound Louisville product has started each of his 47 games played with Buffalo since joining the team as a first-round (28th overall) draft selection in 2008. Wood said "Yeah, all along I knew I wanted to stay here. I'm comfortable here, in a good comfort. Not comfortable where you're sitting back and lazy. Comfortable where I love working with the guys I'm working with here and I would never want to leave here. Especially with the direction we're going and to watch them make the playoffs without me...it's going to be a special time and when we do it this year, if I would have missed it in years to come, I would've never forgave myself."
Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon said Wood fits the organization's blueprint for the type of players the Bills want on their roster."This is a great day for the Buffalo Bills. It's a great day for Eric and his wife Leslie. It's a great day for Bills fans everywhere to have Eric signed long-term. As I mentioned back on January 1st, this sort of symbolizes what we were talking about. Being aggressive and trying to keep our draft picks and keep our core players long-term. Obviously we're thrilled to have Eric in the fold for many years to come. 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."
Bills General Manager Doug Whaley said "From a philosophical standpoint, we believe to build a consistent team you have to start from the inside out and it doesn't get more inside than the center position. When you talk about Eric Wood, you talk about leadership and with a young team and we're trying to instill a lot of different values at this time, we need a leader and he's a strong leader. He'll be able to lead us to where we need to go."
Wood was part of an offensive line that helped produce the second-best rushing attack in the AFC (138.6 yards per game) in 2012 and held opponents to 30.0 sacks (fifth-fewest in the AFC).
In 2011, the Bills' offensive line allowed a league-best 23.0 sacks and led the AFC with a 4.9 yards per carry average (fifth in the NFL). Wood feels the Bills have always stood by him no matter what he's gone through."It's definitely rewarding. This organization has stuck by me through some tough times, some of the toughest times of my life. Two major injuries and I couldn't have been more thankful for how they supported me through those times and how they're still willing to give me a long-term extension even though everyone around me and everyone in the media wants to say that I'm injury prone and hopefully I'll be able to prove that I'm not and hopefully get some good fortune to come in my favor. Like you said, definitely rewarding and definitely happy where I'm at."