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Tremaine Edmunds controlling what he can about potential Bills contract extension

The linebacker is entering the final year of his rookie deal

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

Buffalo Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds is set to make $12.7 million in 2022 playing on his fifth-year option. The former first-round pick has earned an increased salary thanks to multiple Pro Bowl selections but now he’s in the final year of his contract. He says that while he thinks about it from time to time, he’s not letting it consume him on or off the field.

“Obviously, you think about it a little bit, but I can’t control that,” Edmunds told The Buffalo News in June. “All I can control is how I come out each and every day, and just work. All that kind of stuff, you kind of just put it on the top shelf and do the stuff that you’ve been doing this whole time.”

While most Bills fans join in defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier’s opinion that they would like to see more splash plays from the linebacker, Frazier is also quick to point out Edmunds brings a lot of things to the table that aren’t on the stat sheet. Edmunds has also received some advice from the longtime NFL coach and former Super Bowl-winning player.

“In all of our conversations, it’s all about just being himself and playing on a high level, like he always does, and not focus it on the contract part of it, but just going out of control and what you can control,” Frazier said. “He’s been a tremendous player for us. He makes a lot of plays. He leads our defense.”

Earlier this offseason, general manager Brandon Beane was asked about the future for Edmunds and he seemed complimentary but not overly eager to get a massive contract in front of him.

“I think sometimes some of his deficiencies have been talked about more than the things he does good,” Beane told The Athletic. “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.”

While he said he was “a fan” of Edmunds, he didn’t say a contract was imminent. When he really loves a player, he telegraphs the upcoming contract as he did with Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen over the last 12 months. His lack of the same for Edmunds could mean a possible deal is on hold until after 2022.

We haven’t undertaken a contract projection for Edmunds, but Spotrac has estimated his value at $13.8 million per season and a contract in the neighborhood of four years, $55 million. The franchise tag wouldn’t seem like a viable option and it’s projected to be more than $18 million in 2023.