(AP) - Midway through the first practice of training camp Thursday, Jamaal Anderson trotted onto the field for the Atlanta Falcons.
The team's top draft pick spent the first hour of practice working out the final details on a five-year contract that could be worth as much as 31 million dollars.
The Number 8 pick overall, Anderson is being counted on to step right in at left end for longtime stalwart Patrick Kerney, who voided his contract and signed a lucrative deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
In his junior season at Arkansas, the 6-foot-6, 280-pound Anderson led the Southeastern Conference and ranked third in the nation with 13 and a half sacks. His deal includes about 15 million dollars in guarantees.
The Falcons also signed one of their second-round picks, cornerback Chris Houston, and agreed to terms with their other second-rounder, offensive guard Justin Blalock. Houston took part in the first practice of training camp, and Blalock is expected to get on the field tomorrow.
Like Anderson, both Blalock (39th overall) and Houston (41st) are expected to contend for starting jobs.