As he told us he would do in February, Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane has indeed picked up the fifth-year option for defensive tackle Ed Oliver, the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The team announced the move Tuesday.
The move means Oliver will be on the roster in 2023 at the price of a guaranteed $10.735 million.
Oliver commented on Twitter right after the announcement, seemingly referencing his payday.
Got that monkey off my back feel like I can just go play nahh— Ed Oliver (@Edoliver_11) April 26, 2022
“Got that monkey off my back feel like I can just go play nahh,” tweeted Oliver.
It’s the fourth time in three years the Bills are picking up the option, after applying the tag to both Tremaine Edmunds and Josh Allen last offseason. Allen eventually signed a massive contract extension while Edmunds is entering the final year of his rookie contract. The Bills didn’t pick up the option on 2016 first-rounder Shaq Lawson, but he re-signed with Buffalo this offseason.
Oliver, the talented cog in defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier’s system, just completed his third regular season with the Bills during the 2021 season.
“I thought he was our best, most consistent d-lineman all year from start to finish,” Beane said in late January. “And I think he trended up all year. The game slowed down for Ed this year. And he was a huge factor in our success.”
The deadline for exercising the option was May 2, but with the NFL Draft this weekend, the Bills cleaned up this bit of business ahead of time.
While Oliver has only recorded 13 sacks during his first three seasons, he has arguably had a huge impact on a Bills pass rush that led the NFL in sacks over the last month of the regular season.
In 2021, Oliver appeared in and started all 19 games for Buffalo, amassing five sacks with 16 quarterback hits and 46 total tackles, including 12 stops for a loss.
But Oliver’s productivity and his ability to wreak havoc as a pass rusher is about more than just how many times he brought down the quarterback, according to Beane.
“Ed really helped the back end with his disruption, having the quarterback get the ball out, or at least get him off the spot, having to throw on the move turns [a play] into an incompletion or an interception,” Beane said.