The Buffalo Bills have three defensive ends set to hit the free-agent market this offseason in Mario Addison, Jerry Hughes, and Efe Obada. If they want to get younger at the position, they have the horses in the barn, but those thoroughbreds are very unproven.
If Buffalo lets all three DEs walk, they still have former second-round picks A.J. Epenesa and Boogie Basham as well as 2021 first-round pick Greg Rousseau on the roster. They have Mike Love as a reserve option, as well, and Bryan Cox Jr. returning from injury. It’s not a great rotation, but it’s a bare-minimum acceptable one.
Basham (18.65%) and Epenesa (30.61%) weren’t getting the lion’s share of the snaps in 2021. Rousseau (49.26%) was a starter in this defense, just behind Hughes (51.76%) and ahead of Addison (44.71%) with Obada (21.99%) also representing a good chunk. The team likes to rotate, and 50% was the max with so many fresh legs in 2021, but in previous seasons, a 60-40 split up to even 65-35 was expected between the starters and backups.
The Bills will need to add one or two guys and could definitely look to upgrade, but if they didn’t add anything major at the position group this offseason, they could get by. Obviously, they want to do more than “get by” so we still expect some movement at DE, be it re-signings, signings, or draft picks.
- 2021 All-22 Review: Jerry Hughes
- 2021 All-22 Review: Mario Addison
- 2021 All-22 Review: Efe Obada
- 2021 All-22 Review: Gregory Rousseau, A.J. Epenesa, Boogie Basham
- Contract projection for Jerry Hughes
- Contract projection for Mario Addison
- Bills have young bodies to move on from Addison, Hughes but it’s a drop off
- Free agents for the Bills at DE
- 2022 NFL Draft prospects at defensive end
- Opinion: Bills should move on from aging DEs and draft a depth option