Buffalo Bills News: A.J. Epenesa, Tre'Davious White, Bobby Babich

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Buffalo Bills News: A.J. Epenesa expected to be in 'starter role' in 2024

The Buffalo Bills had a decision to make this offseason about whether or not to bring back A.J. Epenesa or Leonard Floyd as both were free agents but they likely didn't have the cap space to retain both. In the end, it would be Epenesa returning with a two-year deal while Floyd would join the San Francisco 49ers on a two-year deal.

On Monday, McDermott gave a little more insight into why the team brought back A.J. Epenesa and it could be due to the team envisioning an expanded role in 2024. Epenesa was the Bills' second round pick in 2020 but has only four starts over four seasons.

In limited snaps, Epenesa has taken a big step forward the past two seasons as he has 13 sacks and 20 QB hits with 13 passes defended. The Bills want that to continue and McDermott said "the role [Epenesa] could be in this year is a one of those starter roles."

It makes sense based on how the defensive end position is currently constructed with Greg Rousseau as one of the starters. The other starting job ideally would go to Epenesa and this would free up Von Miller and Casey Toohill as more of pass rush specialists, similar to a role Floyd played last season.

This summer will be pivotal for Epenesa and he is emerging as a critical piece of the defense for the upcoming season.