How is the Bills’ potential Tremaine Edmunds extension hurt by the Roquan Smith signing?

One among the largest questions for the Buffalo Payments, when the offseason begins, might be whether or not or to not re-sign inside linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. That call was made all the extra sophisticated on Tuesday when the Baltimore Ravens locked up their own linebacker, Roquan Smith, on a five-year $100 million extension

With Smith’s new contract, the most profitable ever signed by a linebacker, setting the market earlier than the offseason even really begins, the Payments might be compelled to re-examine whether or not or not they’ll afford to carry Edmunds again subsequent season. 

At simply 24 years outdated, Edmunds is already in his fifth season in the NFL after being drafted sixteenth total by the Buffalo Payments in 2018 (the similar draft the place they took Josh Allen). Regardless of placing up gaudy sort out numbers in his first 4 seasons, Buffalo remained hesitant to signal Edmunds to a long-term extension as a consequence of questions on his protection expertise and his means to shed blocks. As an alternative, they picked up his fifth-year choice at $12.7 million and let him play out the season. 

The linebacker responded together with his finest season since his rookie 12 months in 2018. He posted 102 tackles, 5 tackles for a loss, and one sack whereas registering seven passes defended. 

Edmunds stays youthful than some rookies who might be drafted this 12 months and his mixture of youth, expertise, and measurement makes you dream of the prospects. His lengthy arms make him an imposing presence over the center of the discipline and he has proven the means to proceed to enhance his recreation. 

Given Matt Milano’s prowess as a canopy linebacker, Edmunds’ skills as a run stopper and velocity in pursuit make them an ideal pairing. Even when Edmunds is not the cowl linebacker that Milano is, he is a certain tackler and covers floor in a rush, protecting performs in entrance of him in the center of the discipline.

He additionally performs a significant position as a captain of the protection, so when he missed two video games this season with a groin harm, the Buffalo protection took an actual step again. 

Nonetheless, it will not be so simple as if the Payments wish to maintain Edmunds. Coming into this season, he had the highest base wage of any inside linebacker. Whereas Roquan Smith is technically an off-ball linebacker, his making $20 million per season will definitely influence how a lot Edmunds can anticipate to get, even when Smith had 67 extra tackles and three.5 extra sacks on the 12 months than his youthful counterpart. 

Since Buffalo not too long ago signed Matt Milano to a four-year, $41.5 million contract and likewise ranks 4th in 2023 defensive position spending, accounting for $50.8 million of subsequent 12 months’s wage cap house, re-signing Edmunds could be an incredible amount of cash devoted to the entrance seven. 

That additionally doesn’t embody the four-year, $69 million extension not too long ago signed by cornerback Tre’Davious White, the four-year $58.3 million contract signed by left sort out Dion Dawkins, the four-year $96 million extension for extensive receiver Stefon Diggs, and the six-year $258 million contract for quarterback Josh Allen. 

Buffalo Normal Supervisor Brandon Beane has been lauded for his creativity in relation to contract structuring, which has enabled the Payments to discipline a Tremendous Bowl-caliber roster only a few years after being in wage cap hell. Nonetheless, having the ability to carry again Tremaine Edmunds and nonetheless discipline a deep and gifted roster could also be his hardest take a look at but. 

For extra Payments protection, like this Tremaine Edmunds story, go to amNY Sports activities

New York Jets working again Michael Carter is introduced down by Buffalo Payments linebacker Tremaine Edmunds throughout the first half of an NFL soccer recreation, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Picture/Adrian Kraus)

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