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2019 Buffalo Bills scouting report: defensive end Jerry Hughes

One of Buffalo’s top defensive contributors re-signed today

Jacksonville Jaguars v Buffalo Bills Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills have churned the roster mightily since head coach Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane arrived in Orchard Park. That’s not exactly a surprise, as new regimes always mean new players. However, the constants on the roster have been so few that they can be counted on one hand at this point. Only four players who were on the roster for the 2016 season remain on the current squad.

In our latest installment of our “90 players in 90 days” series, we profile one of those four players, an edge rusher who isn’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future.

Name: Jerry Hughes

Number: 55

Position: DE

Height/Weight: 6’2” 254 lbs.

Age: 30 (31 on 8/13/19)

Experience/Draft: 10; drafted in the First Round (31 overall) by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2010 NFL Draft

College: TCU

Acquired: Via trade with Colts on 4/29/13; linebacker Kelvin Sheppard was traded to Indianapolis to complete the transaction

Financial situation (per Spotrac): 2019 is the final year of a five-year, $40 million extension Hughes signed with the Bills prior to the 2015 season. He will count $10.4 million against the salary cap this year. Hughes signed a two-year extension on 5/21 to remain with Buffalo through his age-33 season.

2018 Recap: It was another solid year for Hughes, as he led the team in sacks (7) and quarterback hits (18). He totaled 37 tackles, three forced fumbles, and one pass breakup on the year. As he constantly warded off double-teams, his numbers don’t necessarily do his level of play justice. Hughes was once again a force to be game-planned for in 2018.

Positional outlook: Hughes will see the majority of snaps along the defensive edge. He is Buffalo’s best pass rusher, and he will join Trent Murphy and Shaq Lawson in the top three at the position. Behind Hughes will either be Eli Harold, Darryl Johnson, Eddie Yarbrough, or Mike Love.

2019 Offseason: Hughes signed a contract extension and has been preparing for the season.

2019 Season outlook: The Bills made a smart decision in locking up Hughes, who has improved as a run defender and continues to rush the passer at a high level. While he is still a volatile personality (as evidenced by his postgame incident with an official this season), his penalty numbers have decreased in each of the last few seasons. Hughes is a good football player and a leader on the defense. No team can have too many of those.