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Report: Buffalo Bills “working hard” to retain Lorenzo Alexander

Will the Bills bring back their 12.5-sack pass rusher?

The Buffalo Bills are “working hard” to bring back their 2016 sack leader Lorenzo Alexander, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

You know Alexander’s story by now. His free-agency is still one of the most unprecedented in NFL history. After just nine sacks in his first nine seasons combined, he erupted for 12.5 sacks as a 33-year-old who likely wouldn’t have got a chance to start had it not been for some offseason injuries.

Alexander is a nice fit as an outside linebacker in Rex Ryan’s hybrid defense that has a 3-4 base. On paper, he’s an awkward fit in Sean McDermott’s more straight-forward 4-3 based system in which the three linebackers are off the ball and the defensive ends are bigger and less included to drop into coverage. However, McDermott just cached up 22 sacks in the past three seasons — including 9.5 in 2016 — from Mario Addison, an edge-defender similarly sized to Alexander who appears to better suited as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

It’ll be very interesting to see the type of money Alexander gets, regardless of whether he signs in Buffalo or with another team.