Dec 22, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Jerry Hughes (55) during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Contract Extension on Horizon for Jerry Hughes?

Reports have surfaced that the Bills are open to the idea of discussing a long-term contract extension with DE Jerry Hughes. Hughes only has one year left on his rookie contract, and with the Bills precariously short on pass rushers, an extension for Hughes would appear to be a logical next step for both sides.

From the club’s perspective, offering Hughes an extension now makes sense as he is a more natural fit for their new defensive scheme.  The value of a potential long-term extension may be at its peak for Hughes as well, as he is coming off a year that saw him set new career highs in sacks and tackles

When the Bills traded LB Kelvin Sheppard to the Colts last April in return for Hughes, expectations were not all that lofty for the former 1st round pick. However, when the dust settled on the 2013 season, Hughes had established himself as a more than competent pass rusher, finishing the year with 10 sacks and 46 total tackles in 16 games.

As new Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz employs a more traditional 4-3 style defense, Hughes figures to see most of his playing time as a pure edge rushing defensive end in 2014.  In the 4-3, Schwartz should be able to utilize Hughes’s strengths as a pass rusher, while keeping him out of situations where he would need to drop back in coverage.

Don’t be surprised if the Bills also look to add a pass rusher or two in this May’s draft, as Schwartz has traditionally deployed a healthy rotation at the DE position. Furthermore, the recent signing of 27-year-old DE Jarius Wynn would infer the Bills were not satisfied with their current depth at the position.


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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Buffalo Bills Contract Extension Jerry Hughes Jim Schwartz

  • chas territo

    I liked Hughes from his 1st game with the Bills to now. Signing him is a no-brainer for OBD, it will get done. Especially like you said with Schwartz’s defensive schemes, he’s a very needed player. GO BILLS!!

  • Paul Kawalerski

    The man has more than met expectations. But, I would like to see a little more this year, perhaps 6 more games before I committed to him long-term. But I would also approach it like that with him and let him know you appreciate his play, but we need to see how he functions with the new coaching staff. That’s fair from a management standpoint and also fair for Jerry.

  • NWBill

    It would depend on who they get in this years’ draft; if Buffalo picks up another edge rusher or quality DE, then the chances of them waiting until Hughes’ rookie contract ends – with the risks that entails – increases dramatically. And that’s just a result of the salary cap. If they don’t, however, get another quality DE or rusher this year, then look to see him be presented with a new offer sometime between the draft and the start of the season. It’s what I would do, anyway. If they happen, though, to get Clowney – WOW! Getting him, AND resigning Hughes, would mean that – on sheer talent – Buffalo’s defense would be able to take this team FAR into the playoffs.

    Now, if EJ and the offense jell and make it happen on their side of the ball ……!!!!!!