Greg Rousseau entering a critical 2023 season with the Buffalo Bills

Green Bay Packers v Buffalo Bills
Green Bay Packers v Buffalo Bills / Timothy T Ludwig/GettyImages

When the Buffalo Bills drafted defensive end Gregory Rousseau in 2021, he was brought to the team to develop to become the team’s closer in the fourth quarter when the Bills needed a big stop to secure a win. For the first three seasons with Josh Allen, the Bills pass rush was inconsistent with no true closer. There is an argument to be made that during the AFC Championship game versus the Kansas City Chiefs if the Bills had a true consistent edge rusher, the outcome may have looked a little different.

Drafted out of the University of Miami, Rousseau only played in 2019 before opting out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic concerns. In 2019, Rousseau was named the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year with being able to rack up 15.5 sacks and 54 total tackles. 

Since being drafted by the Bills in 2021, Rousseau has grown in his game the past two seasons. Even with only playing in 13 games this past season, his stats went up in sacks (8) and in quarterback hits (14). With the guidance from future hall of famer edge rusher Von Miller, Rousseau has been able to utilize his size and ability to get to the quarterback and create pressure. 

This upcoming season is going to be an important one for Greg Rousseau with the Buffalo Bills

With Rousseau heading into his third season of his rookie contract with the Bills, he will have to stand out to Brandon Beane as well as Sean McDermott and the coaching staff. The third year of a rookie contract that has a fifth-year option is important to the front office and the player themself. Not to mention, the edge rusher position has become such an important role in today’s NFL game. 

The Bills have themselves set up with Rousseau to see if he will not only have his fifth-year option picked up after this season but also a future key point in leading the defense. Expected to be a starter heading into Week 1, Rousseau may have a little pressure on him to step up as a leader on the defensive line with Miller recovering from his torn ACL he suffered on Thanksgiving last season.

As a developmental player under McDermott and Beane, Rousseau may have a breakout season to earn his fifth-year option and show that he can be a key player for the Bills’ future. 

The other good news for Rousseau heading into this crucial season is that even with Miller unlikely to suit up in the beginning of the season, the Bills went out late in free agency and brought in Leonard Floyd who has recorded 29 sacks in the last three seasons. Floyd should fill in for the missing time of Miller but then would serve as a rotational player which is a great setup off the edge.

Rousseau will still be able to grow in his game because Floyd is able to get to the quarterback as well and mentor Rousseau in Miller’s absence.