The Buffalo Bills’ defense topped the NFL in yards and points in 2021. At the center of that defense was the number-two player on our list. While he didn’t make the Pro Bowl in 2021, Tremaine Edmunds played at a very high level while costing a fraction of the top linebackers in the NFL.
In order to afford big contracts for their talented players, the Bills must also find some diamonds in the rough. Cheap veterans and rookies on their entry contracts have to play a major role on the Buffalo Bills and general manager Brandon Beane has found several.
In the past when we’ve done our listing, we used cap hit to reflect value, but with the cap shenanigans employed by Brandon Beane recently and the improvement of the databases, we’ve switched to yearly cash payments as our metric.
Edmunds was 24th on the team, making just over $2.2 million in 2022. That places him fourth on the Bills behind his running mate Matt Milano, his backup A.J. Klein, and special teamer Tyler Matakevich. While some folks ahead of him are edge rushers labeled as linebackers, he still was just the 72nd-highest paid linebacker in the NFL.
He missed two games with a hamstring injury, but still tallied 108 tackles (which led the team by a considerable margin), an interception, and four passes defended while taking up a large portion of the middle of Buffalo’s top-ranked passing defense.
In all, he played 81% of Buffalo’s defensive snaps in 2022 plus 10% of the special teams snaps. In games he actually played, he was in for every meaningful snap. He was pulled in blowout wins over the Miami Dolphins (Week 2), Houston Texans (Week 4), New Orleans Saints (Week 12), and Carolina Panthers (Week 15). He didn’t play the final series against the New York Jets in the season finale.
This was likely his last year on the list, though, as he will be playing the 2022 season on the fifth-year option. He’ll make $12.716 million in cash if he plays on the option and likely much more than that if he signs a new deal with Buffalo before or during the season.
Buffalo Bills 2021 Best Values
- Stay tuned
- LB Tremaine Edmunds
- TE Dawson Knox
- WR Gabe Davis
- CB Levi Wallace
- DT Ed Oliver
- DT Harrison Phillips
- S Jordan Poyer
- OT Spencer Brown
- RB Devin Singletary