As free agency draws nearer, the Bills are locking up one of their own with a big commitment. Buffalo has agreed to terms to re-sign linebacker Matt Milano, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
The deal is for four years and a whopping $44MM, with $24MM of that being guaranteed. We had heard just a few weeks ago that the Bills were planning on letting Milano hit the open market, and many were expecting both sides to move on, so this one is a bit surprising.
The conventional wisdom was that the Bills might get priced out on Milano with the emergence of A.J. Klein and the upcoming potential extension for fellow linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. This is a pretty solid deal for the Bills considering many expected him to be even more expensive. In fact, a source told Josina Anderson of ESPN that the Bills were “pleasantly surprised” that Milano opted not to test the open market (Twitter link). Milano reportedly stressed how important the culture in Buffalo is to him, and his belief that the team is close to getting to a championship level.
Injuries limited Milano to only ten games this past season but he was still effective, racking up 45 tackles, 3.5 sacks, three passes defended, and an interception in those games. The year before he had 101 tackles in 15 games. A fifth-round pick back in 2017, Milano far exceeded all expectations from his draft status.
He started five games as a rookie and then became a full-time starter in 2018. One of the top free agent linebackers is now off the market. With Tre’Davious White and Dion Dawkins, Milano is part of an extremely successful 2017 Buffalo draft class.
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