Bills Exercise Greg Rousseau’s Fifth-Year Option

With the deadline for fifth-year options approaching, teams around the league are required to make firm decisions on 2021 first-round picks. In the Bills’ case, they will retain edge rusher Greg Rousseau for at least the next two years.

[RELATED: Fifth-Year Option Tracker]

Buffalo will pick up Rousseau’s option, Peter Schrager of NFL Network reports. This comes as little surprise, as a report from earlier this month indicated that would be the Bills’ preference. Rousseau will collect $13.39MM in 2025 as he remains a full-time starter moving forward. The option decision is now official, per a team announcement.

The 24-year-old was one of his draft class’ more intriguing prospects after he opted out of the 2020 college season. As a result of that decision, he played only 14 games at Miami, one of which came in his freshman campaign. The following year, though, he racked up 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss with the Hurricanes, showcasing his upside at the pro level.

Rousseau went 30th overall to the Bills, a team which has incrementally increased his usage year over year. The 6-6, 266-pounder has logged snap shares of 49%, 56% and 60% during his three years in Buffalo. Despite being limited to 13 games in 2022, that season represents his most productive one to date (eight sacks). Rousseau notched five sacks last year, though he reached a new career high with 25 QB pressures.

The Bills saw Leonard Floyd depart in free agency this offseason, and Von Miller was held without a sack in his second campaign with the team. As a result, Rousseau will be counted on as a key member of Buffalo’s front seven for at least the next two years. Fellow defensive end A.J. Epenesa recently signed a two-year deal which prevented him from heading elsewhere on the open market, and he will also take on a notable role.

The latter’s pact carries a base value of $12MM, though, and Rousseau will outpace him in earnings during the 2025 season given the decision to pick up his option. An extension could also be in play down the road, especially if he enjoys a career year in 2024. It will be interesting to see if Rousseau joins Miller in landing a lucrative long-term deal tying him to Buffalo for the foreseeable future. For now, though, he is positioned to continue in a first-team role as the Bills transition at a number of spots on defense.

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