The Buffalo Bills need to upgrade their linebacker corps. While veteran Lorenzo Alexander is under contract for the 2018 NFL season, his age (34) and his struggles to play in coverage as a 4-3 linebacker make him a prime candidate for release in the offseason.
If the Bills were to move on from Alexander, however, hey would do so without having his replacement on the roster. Of the Bills’ linebackers, two players who started at least 8 games last season (Preston Brown and Ramon Humber) are slated to become unrestricted free agents. That leaves Matt Milano, Tanner Vallejo, and Deon Lacey as the only other linebackers to have suited up for Buffalo in 2017.
Milano is already slated to take over the starting job at weakside linebacker next season. Lacey and Vallejo are primarily special teams players, and neither would appear to be an upgrade over the venerable Alexander, who also holds special teams value.
In the ruthless business that is the NFL, teams cut great men all the time when they feel that those men can no longer contribute on the field. With Alexander’s fit in head coach Sean McDermott’s defense a questionable one, the team will need to decide whether or not Alexander’s special teams contributions and his leadership are worth his $3.4 million price tag. If they decide that those skills aren’t worth the price, then they will need to go outside the organization to find Alexander’s replacement in the starting lineup.