The Buffalo Bills lost a major piece of their defense when linebacker Tremaine Edmunds agreed to a four year $72 million contract with the Chicago Bears. Edmunds had been a model for what the Bills desire to accomplish under GM Brandon Beane and Head Coach Sean McDermott.
The Bills drafted Edmunds in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, as a raw, young prospect with a unique blend of size, speed and power. They developed him, letting him learn on the fly as he started 72 games over the course of his five years with the team. Failure to complete the third step in the plan of draft, develop and re-sign was not necessarily a surprise as Edmunds’ age (24 years old) and career year in 2022 priced him out of the range the Bills were comfortable giving him in a contract, and GM Brandon Beane has been very rigid with his valuations of players.
To address the huge hole that Edmunds leaves in the Buffalo Bills defense, they could go one of two routes. Since Bobby Wagner signed with the Seahawks, there are few quality options in free agency, meaning the most likely route is an internal candidate. They also will likely draft at least one linebacker in this year’s draft, however Brandon Beane has indicated that the Bills are comfortable moving forward with the players who are currently on the roster:
"“I mean sometimes your answer is on your roster and we think you know Tyrel, getting Dodson back on on a one-year you know him. Obviously we had the two draft picks last year in Bernard and Spector there and they’ve been in our program for a year. They’re going to be a lot more prepared for the pro game and higher defensive system going in.”"
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the options currently on the Bills roster to replace Edmunds: