From the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week, Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane spoke a lot about the current roster. One player he was specifically asked about was Tremaine Edmunds, who enters the 2022 season on the final year of his rookie contract making more than $12 million.
If you’re in the camp of folks who criticize Edmunds, Beane has some bad news for you. Not only did he use the word “love” to describe his feeling for Edmunds, he was emphatic with his praise.
“Yeah, we definitely do [consider him a core building block moving forward],” Beane told Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic. “We drafted him as high as we did. He’s been a captain. He’s continued to ascend and grow. I know he’s been a lightning rod for, I don’t know all the reasons, you guys probably know well more than I do. I hear the questions, and I get it. I’m a fan of him.”
Despite saying he doesn’t know why Edmunds gets criticism, he went on to describe it pretty darn well.
“I think sometimes some of his deficiencies have been talked about more than the things he does good,” added Beane. “He’s a 6-5 kid, 250 pounds. He’s not a knock-back, Dick Butkus-style linebacker, but his range and ability to play in coverage—we talk about matchup linebackers. When you look in the draft every year, there are not a lot of three-down matchup linebackers. This is a passing league, and you must have guys who can play the run but who can also cover tight ends, backs, etc. I get the criticism, but I’m not really in that camp.”
Edmunds has been incredibly durable, starting 61 games in his four seasons, missing four games total, and playing in more than 92% of Buffalo’s defensive snaps every season. He has 463 career tackles, 28 passes defended, four interceptions, and two forced fumbles to go along with 5.5 sacks. He’s earned two trips to the Pro Bowl, as well. He has a very good Make Tackle percentage, per Pro Football Reference, which is a key metric for him since he’s often asked to drop into coverage and stop the pass-catcher short of the sticks.
Spotrac lists Edmunds’s market value as $13.8 million per season and project a four-year, $55 million contract.