While the Buffalo Bills season ended on a down note in their loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Divisional Round, there were a lot of positives from the prior season. One of those positives was the performance of linebacker Tremaine Edmunds.
Edmunds has been a fixture of the Buffalo Bills defense since he was drafted in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He has been the team’s starting middle linebacker every season he has been in the league and earned Pro Bowl nominations in 2019 and 2020.
However, this past season might have been his best yet and Pro Football Focus recently named him the most improved player on the Buffalo Bills. Gordon McGuiness with Pro Football Focus wrote about the Bills’ starting linebacker:
"BUFFALO BILLS: LB TREMAINE EDMUNDS2021 PFF Grade: 48.52022 PFF Grade: 81.2Improvement: 32.7Like Patrick Queen with the Ravens, Edmunds displayed some big-time flashes over the first four years of his career, but a lack of consistency hurt his PFF grade. He eliminated a lot of the negatives in his play to deliver a phenomenal 2022 season in coverage where his 90.0 PFF coverage grade led all players at the position."
Edmunds has always racked up the tackles but has been lacking in making those impact plays that can help elevate him to that top tier at his position. He showed more of that this season with six tackles for a loss, three QB hits, one sack, and one interception.
Did Buffalo Bills make a mistake not re-signing Tremaine Edmunds last offseason?
Tremaine Edmunds is set to be a free agent this offseason and this past season could not have come at a better time. He is expected to be one of the top free agents and should end up with one of the top contracts for his position.
The question is whether or not that contract will come from the Buffalo Bills or another team. The Bills may not be able to pay Edmunds as much as he might get with another team due to the salary cap and it raises the question if the Bills made a mistake not re-signing him last offseason.
While hindsight is always 20/20 and we have the benefit of seeing what he did this past season, it is hard to fault the team for being hesitant to commit to a long-term deal last offseason. The potential has always been there for Edmunds but he hadn’t put together that complete season yet.
If the Buffalo Bills do lose Tremaine Edmunds this offseason, it will be a big loss for their defense and create a challenge in finding the right player to replace him.