The Buffalo Bills have holes on their roster, for sure. One spot that is seemingly locked up is starting 3-tech defensive tackle, but behind Ed Oliver they don’t have anyone. We explored the situation from top to bottom—including Ed Oliver—to give you some perspective and now we’re asking you to vote.
Check out these article excerpts (or better yet click the links to read each full article) and then vote in the poll at the bottom.
Ed Oliver was good in 2020 thanks to his physical ability and high motor. He was even better in 2021. The thing that really jumped off the screen this year was the relative lack of shuffling Oliver did on the line. During his 2020 season, I noted snaps from Oliver at seven different spots on the line. And that’s not counting the fact that he flipped sides (so double that count basically). It’s not that he’s no longer floating around, it’s just not every other play like it used to be. The end result in my (sometimes) humble opinion is a better focus.
Oliver seems to have the 3T spot on lockdown. Barring injury, that bodes well for Buffalo as the depth options will likely have one-third or less time on the field. I say “or less” as the Bills love to have defensive ends kick inside on obvious passing downs.
If the Bills would prefer, they can negotiate a contract extension instead. But Oliver was playing so well by the end of 2021, he should probably bank on himself at this point with the guaranteed eight-figure deal coming his way already in 2023. Between 2022 and 2023, Buffalo would be guaranteeing more than $13 million by applying the option, so they would have to guarantee into the third year of any long-term contract at this point and even at something like an $8 million per-year deal, that puts him into the top ten of defensive tackles in terms of guaranteed money north of $21 million.
Last offseason, the team negotiated a contract restructure with Vernon Butler that made him a free agent at the end of 2021 and they released Quinton Jefferson when he wouldn’t take a pay cut. That meant both wouldn’t be on the team in 2022. With Justin Zimmer also on a one-year deal, the Bills knew they would be limited at 3-tech in the future, but they plugged their other holes and soldiered on in 2021. Now the bill must be paid.
- Larry Ogunjobi
- Malik Jackson
- Sheldon Richardson
- Maliek Collins
- D.J. Jones
- B.J. Hill
- Justin Jones
- Maurice Hurst
- Darius Philon
Devonte Wyatt (Georgia)
DeMarvin Leal (Texas A&M)
Travis Jones (UConn)
Logan Hall (Houston)
Perrion Winfrey (Oklahoma)
Haskell Garrett (Ohio State)
John Ridgeway (Arkansas)
Zachary Carter (Florida)
Going into 2022 with Oliver, a developmental rookie, a low-cost veteran, and Zimmer on speed dial would be a pretty good situation for the Bills at the position, especially if they can improve the 1-tech and defensive end rooms at the same time.
Now it’s your turn to vote. Make sure you read all the excerpts — or better yet the full articles — and vote below!
What should the Bills do at 3-tech DT this offseason?
This poll is closed
Sign a free agent for a 50/50 split with Oliver
Sign a depth option in free agency (including Zimmer in this)
Draft a 50/50 option on Day 1/2
Draft a depth option on Day 3
Sign a depth option AND draft a depth option
- All-22 Analysis: Ed Oliver is already the unquestioned starter
- Bills need bodies to back up Ed Oliver
- With fifth-year option, both sides will wait on new contract for Oliver
- Free agents at defensive tackle the Bills could add
- 2022 NFL Draft: Picking some depth options at 3-tech
- Opinion: Give yourself options behind Ed Oliver this offseason