On Wednesday, the Buffalo Bills announced they had reached an agreement with veteran linebacker and special teams standout Lorenzo Alexander on a one-year contract extension. According to several sources, including Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network and Field Yates of ESPN, the two sides agreed to a contract that will have a max value of $4.55 million, with a base value of $3 million and a $550,000 signing bonus.
The $3 million base salary represents 1.51 percent of Buffalo’s total salary-cap figure in 2019.
#Bills LB and special teamer Lorenzo Alexander’s 1-year extension signed yesterday is worth a max value of $4.55M, source said. The base value is $3M, including $550K to sign.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 17, 2019
The terms of the contract appear to be reasonable, given Alexander’s contributions to Leslie Frazier’s 4-3 defense and on special teams. Alexander, Buffalo’s defensive captain, appeared in all 16 games (eight starts), making 6.5 sacks (second-most on the team) to go with 74 tackles (11.5 for losses), ten quarterback hits, nine passes defensed, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and a career-best two interceptions.
The versatile Alexander, who was Buffalo’s Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for the 2018 season, is capable of lining up as an outside linebacker or along the defensive line as an edge rusher or even interior lineman. He is adept as a run-stuffer and in pass coverage. Alexander’s presence played a large role in Buffalo’s top-notch defense, and talented youngsters like Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano should continue to benefit from having Alexander—a One Man Gang—on the team.
This is Alexander’s third contract with the Bills. In 2016, he signed a one-year deal for the league minimum of less than $1 million. Alexander rewarded the Bills with a breakout season, earning a Pro Bowl nod after leading the team with 12.5 sacks. Following his dominant debut, Alexander inked a two-year, $5.95 million contract in 2017.
Alexander, 35, was slated to become an unrestricted free agent in March but had expressed a strong interest in playing one more season in Western New York. Now, he gets that wish.
No details were available on the nature of the incentives built into the contract. Kyle Williams had $500,000 available in per-game incentives a year ago and a $150,000 bonus for collecting six sacks on the year. It’s likely Alexander’s incentives are a mixture of games active and performance, as well.