With the reported news that Star Lotulelei has opted out of the upcoming season, the Buffalo Bills will have some options to replace him.
There is no question that this upcoming season is going to present challenges for the Buffalo Bills and the rest of the NFL as they try to manage how to safely have a season during a pandemic. The NFL and the NFLPA agreed last week on a number of issues and one of those was to give players the opportunity to opt out of the upcoming season.
The Bills added Lotulelei in 2018 and he has started every game since joining the franchise. While he will not fill up the box score, he has been a critical part of this defense in the middle of the line by clogging running lanes and commanding multiple offensive linemen to block him.
The past two seasons, while starting every game, he was on the field for a little less than half of the defensive snaps. This was due in large part to the fact that he doesn’t provide much rushing the passer and on passing downs would be rotated off the field.
While it would be great to say the absence of Lotulelei means potentially more snaps for rookie A.J. Epenesa, this doesn’t feel like it will be the case because he didn’t contribute on passing downs. It is going to be that run stuffing role that the coaching staff must try to account for.
These are three options that the Buffalo Bills will likely look at to replace Star Lotulelei this coming season.