Bills pick up Greg Rousseau fifth-year option in latest example of first round success

New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills
New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills / Rich Barnes/GettyImages

The 2024 NFL Draft just wrapped up and the Buffalo Bills have high expectations for the incoming rookie class. While not every pick is going to work out the first round in particular is an area the general manager Brandon Beane has excelled.

Since 2018, Beane has made six first-round picks and for players drafted in the opening round, their contracts include a fifth-year option. A decision on that option must be made before the fourth season in the NFL and that option is a fully guaranteed salary that is usually a significant salary increase.

The Bills recently announced they have picked up the fifth-year option for defensive end Greg Rousseau, who was their first-round pick in 2021. By exercising this option, Rousseau will have a cap hit over $13 million in 2025.

There really wasn't much question to completing this move as Rousseau has been a starting defensive end the past three seasons. For his career, Rousseau has started 46 games with 17 sacks, 30 tackles for a loss, and 42 QB hits.

Buffalo Bills have had really good success in first round under Brandon Beane

Of the six first-round picks that Brandon Beane has made as general manager of the Bills, he has had to make a decision for four of those picks. What is impressive is that the Bills have picked up the fifth-year option for every player to this point and it hasn't even really been a discussion.

This group includes Josh Allen, Tremaine Edmunds, Ed Oliver, and now Rousseau. This just highlights how effective the Bills have been in this opening round and finding impact players with these picks.

Unfortunately, this streak is in significant jeopardy as their 2022 first round pick Kaiir Elam has struggled to get on the field the first two years in the league. Entering this upcoming season he is likely to be the backup and unless something significiantly changes, it is tough to imagine the Bills picking up his fifth year option.