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2021 Worst Buffalo Bills values: No. 4—DT Star Lotulelei

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

After a year away from football due to COVID-19 concerns, our number-four player on the list of most overpaid Buffalo Bills came back to the team and we hoped he would solidify the interior of Buffalo’s defensive line. Instead he gave up his starting spot to a player making less than 20% of his salary figure. That’s why Star Lotulelei is fourth on our list.

In the past when we’ve done our listing, we used cap hit to reflect value, but with the cap shenanigans employed by general manager Brandon Beane recently and the improvement of the databases, we’ve switched to yearly cash payments as our metric.

Lotulelei made $4.9 million in cash in 2021, 27th in the NFL among defensive tackles. It was the highest among Bills’ DTs and 17th overall on the team.

He started in eight games, playing 11 total, and finished the year with three sacks and 17 tackles.

The real ding against Lotulelei, whose job is to eat blockers and keep the linebackers clean, was how the team used him over time. He played in 29.41% of the team’s total defensive snaps, third on the team among DTs and seventh among all defensive linemen despite his top salary. Once he was fully healthy in Week 3, he played 50+% of the meaningful snaps for a large chunk of the season, but over the last month of the regular season, gave up his starter snaps to Harrison Phillips, playing fewer than 34% of the snaps in his final three games. He only played in 11 of the 17 games dealing with various undisclosed situations.

This offseason, Lotulelei was released even though they didn’t really save any cap space by moving on and they didn’t re-sign Harrison Phillips. They just didn’t want Lotulelei anymore. He remains unsigned.

Buffalo Bills 2021 Worst Values

  1. Stay tuned
  2. Stay Tuned
  3. Stay Tuned
  4. DT Star Lotulelei
  5. OG Jon Feliciano
  6. DE Jerry Hughes
  7. OL Daryl Williams
  8. DE Greg Rousseau
  9. LB Tyler Matakevich
  10. DE Boogie Basham

Buffalo Bills 2021 Best Values

  1. QB Josh Allen
  2. LB Tremaine Edmunds
  3. TE Dawson Knox
  4. WR Gabe Davis
  5. CB Levi Wallace
  6. DT Ed Oliver
  7. DT Harrison Phillips
  8. S Jordan Poyer
  9. OT Spencer Brown
  10. RB Devin Singletary

Honorable Mentions