Three Bills Candidates For Early Contract Extensions

In terms of free agency and getting players under contract, the Buffalo Bills have bigger fish to fry - namely, current free agents - than seeking out long-term extensions for players comfortably in the fold. (That's without counting the NFL lockout.) It's also not remotely certain that the Buddy Nix regime would even hand out the type of in-season early extensions that previous regimes gave to, for example, Kyle Williams and Brad Butler.

It's interesting to note, however, that Williams headlines three Bills players that, one could argue, are worthy of that type of extension.

Over the past two seasons, Williams has emerged as one of the better and more disruptive defensive tackles in the NFL. He's got two years remaining on the five-year contract he signed before the 2008 season, and he'll make a combined $3.56 million in base salary over those two years. He'll turn 28 here in about three weeks, and another early extension could last through almost his mid-30s. If anyone deserves it, it's him.

Two 2009 draft picks could be targets, as well. Andy Levitre has been a mainstay at left guard from day one, and looks to have a long-term starting position all but locked up. Jairus Byrd, meanwhile, continues to improve, and within a year or two could be an all-around, playmaking free safety. Both players have two years remaining on their rookie deals.

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