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2021 Worst Buffalo Bills values: No. 3—LB A.J. Klein

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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.

The Buffalo Bills signed a veteran linebacker several seasons ago to be a veteran in the room and solid backup option, but every year he was on the team, he has made this list, as those young players took all the snaps if they were healthy. For the final time, A.J. Klein comes in at number three on our list of most overpaid Bills.

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.

Klein made just under $6 million in 2021 to rank 11th on the team (second among linebackers). Even with pass-rushing outside linebackers in the mix, Klein was the 42nd-highest paid linebacker in the NFL in 2021. Limiting it to just off-ball ‘backers, and he’d be even higher.

He did start four games in 2021, playing in 15, racking up an interception, 5 passes defended, 1 fumble recovery and 35 tackles. In all, he played 277 snaps (25.70% of the defensive total) but stepped up on special teams, playing 37% of those snaps.

No player in the top 16 Bills cash rankings played fewer snaps than Klein.

This offseason, the Bills released Klein, saving $5.2 million in cash in 2022. Even at that number, he would have been overpaid. Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds will start and the Bills have several younger, cheaper players to compete for the backup role plus special teams.

Buffalo Bills 2021 Worst Values

  1. Stay tuned
  2. Stay Tuned
  3. LB A.J. Klein
  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