Ed Oliver

More On The New Contract For Bills DT Ed Oliver

When the Bills extended defensive tackle Ed Oliver last week, we examined how the deal was an accurate reflection of Oliver’s talents, rewarding him for his accomplishments while not placing him with the elite at the position. If anything, the deal seemed a bit heavy for what Oliver had shown on the stat sheet, but some insight, provided by Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, was able to help put the deal in perspective.

We already noted that the deal reduced his cap hit in the coming season from $10.75MM down to $5.78MM. We also noted that the big payday only slotted Oliver 11th at his position for average annual value. These points help to explain a bit about how reasonable the deal was financially, but Breer gave some reasoning for why the deal was as high of a payday as it was despite the apparent lack of production.

The Bills reportedly utilized advanced statistics when determining Oliver’s value. They saw that, despite his lack of statistical production, Buffalo’s pass rush excelled significantly more when Oliver was on the field. They found that, while Oliver’s lack of size and length can make it difficult to finish plays, he’s still disruptive enough to move to the ball out of position, allowing his teammates to reap the benefits off of his impact.

The team also expected much more from Oliver in 2022, predicting a breakthrough year after an impressive camp. Unfortunately, a high ankle sprain in the first half of the season opener against the Rams really knocked him off-kilter. Although he was able to return to the field just five weeks later, Oliver told people he didn’t quite feel right again until March. This projected potential helped inflate Oliver’s deal a bit, despite what was considered a bit of a down year.

We were also provided with some details on terms of the deal, thanks to Mike Florio of NBC Sports. We had reported a four-year, $68MM value with $45MM (now, more accurately, $45.28MM) guaranteed. We later added on that part of that guaranteed money was a $14.75MM signing bonus. Now, we know that, of that $45.28MM, $24.53MM is guaranteed at signing and is composed of the signing bonus, Oliver’s 2023 base salary of $2.03MM, and $7.75MM of his 2024 base salary (worth $14.75MM total). The $7MM-remainder of the 2024 salary becomes guaranteed the day following next year’s Super Bowl. $8.25MM of his 2025 base salary (worth $13.75MM total) becomes guaranteed on the fifth league day of the 2024 season, and the remaining $5.5MM becomes guaranteed if he’s still on the roster for the fifth league day of the 2025 season. He’ll have base salaries in 2026 and 2027 of $14.13MM and $14.4MM respectively.

Oliver can earn plenty in bonuses over the course of the deal. He’ll get a 2024 option bonus of $12.5MM, which, if exercised, would reduce his base salary amount for that year to $2.25MM. He can also receive an offseason roster bonus in 2025 of $1.25MM. There are workout bonuses of $500k per year starting in 2024, as well as per game active roster bonuses starting in that season of $25k for a potential additional $425k per season. There are also two undefined incentives worked into the deal for a potential $500k in 2023 and a possible $750k in each of the following years of the deal. The deal also has a built-in out that would allow the team to cut Oliver after the 2025 season for over $40MM of cap savings and only $5.9MM of dead cap.

So, that’s the skinny on how the Bills constructed Oliver’s new deal. They were able to reward the anchor of their defensive line while incentivizing him to continue to improve his performance. They locked Oliver down for a long-term deal and were able to alleviate their cap situation a bit in the process.

Bills, DT Ed Oliver Reach Agreement On Extension

JUNE 6: Further details on the extension are in, courtesy of ESPN’s Field Yates (Twitter link). Oliver will receive a $14.75MM signing bonus via his extension, which has cap implications for 2023. His charge for this season has dropped to $5.775MM (compared to the $10.75MM it would have been on the fifth-year option). Buffalo has already used some of those savings on their deal for edge rusher Leonard Floyd.

JUNE 3: After four strong years on the Bills defensive line, defensive tackle Ed Oliver will avoid playing out his fifth-year option to free agency after agreeing to an extension, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Oliver’s new contract is reportedly a four-year deal worth $68MM, $45MM of which will be guaranteed.

Oliver isn’t the flashiest of defenders, as many in his position aren’t, but since getting drafted at No. 9 overall back in 2019, Oliver has done his job and done it well. While not elite in any area of the game, Oliver has been a good all-around defender in Buffalo, delivering strong performances as both a run defender and a pass rusher. He didn’t have his best season in 2022, but according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Oliver was the 13th best interior defender in 2020 and the 23rd in 2021.

As a rookie in 2019, Oliver became an immediate contributor rotating in the defensive front alongside Jordan Phillips and Star Lotulelei. He finished his rookie year with five sacks and five tackles for loss. He held down a similar role in his sophomore season, anchoring a rotation that now included Quinton Jefferson and Vernon Butler but now starting every game. In 2021, Oliver became a mainstay on the defensive line, playing more snaps than any other Bills defensive lineman. His playing time that year about doubled any other tackle on the team besides Harrison Phillips, and he rewarded Buffalo with a disruptive four sacks and 10 tackles for loss. Last year, DaQuan Jones replaced Phillips as Oliver’s right-hand man as the two dominated the defensive tackles’ snap share.

So far in his career, Oliver has proven to be an above average pass rusher with 14.5 career sacks from the interior as well as 42 quarterback hits, a disruptive run stopper with 30 career tackles for loss, and an all-around nuisance with 11 swatted passes and four forced fumbles. He’s been a steady, reliable contributor, appearing in all but four games over the course of his career, as well.

Oliver’s new deal is reflective of his status in the NFL. Not considered an elite athlete at his position but still respected as a strong contributor, the $17MM annual average value of Oliver’s extension ranks 11th among NFL defensive tackles. The league’s better tackles make north of $20MM per year while an all-time great like Aaron Donald makes just over $30MM per year. The $45MM guaranteed, though, ranks sixth-most among active defensive tackle contracts.

Five other defensive tackles were taken in the first round of 2019: Quinnen Williams, Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence, Jeffery Simmons, and Jerry Tillery. Tillery was waived by the Chargers midseason last year. Lawrence agreed to an impressive four-year, $87.5MM deal almost a month ago, and Simmons topped both Oliver and Lawrence with a four-year, $94MM extension, a deal that would top the position if not for Donald. Williams is currently in discussions with the Jets for an extension and should expect a strong one after a first-team All-Pro 2022 season. Wilkins is also in discussions with Miami, but he likely shouldn’t expect to reach the heights of Simmons, Lawrence, or Williams. After two strong seasons, Wilkins may see a deal similar to Oliver’s, but an inconsistent start to his career may limit what he receives.

Back in Buffalo, though, the Bills have locked down the future of their defensive line, especially considering every other experienced defensive tackle on the roster (Jones, Phillips, Tim Settle, and Poona Ford) is set for free agency at the conclusion of the upcoming season. Oliver joins tight end Dawson Knox, who received an extension of his own last September, as the only remaining members of Buffalo’s 2019 draft class.

AFC Injury Updates: Bills, Raiders, Leonard

As the Bills head to South Florida for a noon matchup against a red-hot Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins, they have seen a tough challenge get tougher. Buffalo released an injury update on its website today reporting that the team expects to be without four starters: two in the secondary, in safety Micah Hyde and cornerback Dane Jackson, and two defensive tackles, Ed Oliver and Jordan Phillips. Jackson, Hyde, and Phillips all left Monday night’s game with injuries, while Oliver will miss his second straight contest.

Jackson left the game last week after a collision that forced his head backwards in a scary-looking neck injury. He was taken off the field in an ambulance, but, luckily, avoided any major injury. Unfortunately, Jackson hasn’t been able to practice at all this week but has been able to be around the team at the facilities.

Hyde also suffered a neck injury, albeit a far less severe-looking injury than Jackson’s, that held him out of practice this week. Phillips left the game Monday with a hamstring injury and also was unable to practice this week. Oliver has been dealing with an ankle injury that held him out last week, as well.

Missing three starters in the secondary (cornerback Tre’Davious White remains on injured reserve) makes the prospect of facing Tagovailoa a bit more cumbersome one week after he threw for 469 yards and six touchdowns against a banged up Ravens secondary. They’ll turn to rookies Christian Benford and Kaiir Elam to fill in at cornerback with help from veteran Bills cornerbacks Taron Johnson and Siran Neal. Damar Hamlin and Jaquan Johnson will be asked to step up in Hyde’s absence, as well.

With both Phillips and Oliver out on the defensive line, it’s a good bet that the Bills will mirror their gameday practice squad call-ups from last week in defensive tackles C.J. Brewer and Brandin Bryant.

Here are a few more Sunday injury statuses we learned about today, starting with a couple of big starters out in Sin City:

  • The Raiders are set to face off against the Titans this weekend without two Pro Bowlers as wide receiver Hunter Renfrow and linebacker Denzel Perryman are officially out, according to Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Hill also reports that, after missing two practices with an illness, running back Josh Jacobs is questionable to play this Sunday.
  • Despite initial reports in the preseason that Colts star linebacker Shaquille Leonard would not miss any time, the 27-year-old is set to miss his third straight game after being ruled out against the Chiefs this week, according to Mike Chappell of Indianapolis Fox59. Head coach Frank Reich told the media, “Deep down it’s the player. Deep down the player has to know he can play winning football and help this team win. That’s where we’ve got to get to.”

Bills DT Ed Oliver Ruled Out For Week 2

The Bills will once again be on primetime in Week 2, but they will be missing a key member of their defensive front on Monday night. Per a team announcement, defensive tackle Ed Oliver has been ruled out. 

The 2019 first-rounder took on a starting role midway through his rookie campaign. Since then, he has been a steady presence on the Bills’ d-line, appearing in every contest so far in his career. With 12 sacks, he has shown the pass-rush ability which made him a top-10 pick in addition to his work against the run.

The latter skillset has been poorly graded by PFF, but Buffalo still generated little surprise when they decided to pick up his fifth-year option. As a result, Oliver will make $10.75MM in 2023 while the Bills look to keep their young, championship-caliber core intact.

While it remains to be seen how long the 24-year-old will be out, the fact that he will be absent against the Titans could prove significant. Derrick Henry represents the obvious focal point of Tennessee’s offense, especially since they traded away A.J. Brown in the offseason. The All-Pro running back ran for 82 yards in the team’s Week 1 loss to the Giants, but has shown himself capable of much more when healthy.

The Bills, meanwhile, put up the best defensive performance against the run during their win over the Rams last week. The defending champions were held to just 52 yards on the ground; a repeat of that could help lead the Bills to a 2-0 start on Monday night, but it will require a larger workload from the likes of Jordan Phillips, DaQuan Jones and Tim Settle

2023 NFL Fifth-Year Option Results

Monday marked the deadline for NFL clubs to officially pick up their options on 2019 first-rounders. Fifth-year option seasons are no longer just guaranteed for injury — they’re now fully guaranteed, which makes these decisions a little tougher for teams.

Nineteen players had their options exercised, a tick up from 14 last year. Here’s the full rundown:

1. QB Kyler Murray, Cardinals – Exercised ($29.7MM)
2. DE Nick Bosa, 49ers: Exercised ($17.9MM)
3. DE Quinnen Williams, Jets: Exercised ($11.5MM)
4. DE Clelin Ferrell, Raiders: Declined ($11.5MM)
5. LB Devin White, Buccaneers: Exercised ($11.7MM)
6. QB Daniel Jones, Giants: Declined ($22.4MM)
7. DE Josh Allen, Jaguars: Exercised ($11.5MM)
8. TE T.J. Hockenson, Lions: Exercised ($9.4MM)
9. DT Ed Oliver, Bills: Exercised ($10.8MM)
10. LB Devin Bush, Steelers: Declined ($10.9MM)
11. OT Jonah Williams, Bengals: Exercised ($12.6MM)
12. LB Rashan Gary, Packers: Exercised ($10.9MM)
13. DT Christian Wilkins, Dolphins: Exercised ($10.8MM)
14. G Chris Lindstrom, Falcons: Exercised ($13.2MM)
15. QB Dwayne Haskins:
16. DE Brian Burns, Panthers: Exercised ($16MM)
17. DT Dexter Lawrence, Giants: Exercised ($10.8MM)
18. C Garrett Bradbury, Vikings: Declined ($13.2MM)
19. DT Jeffery Simmons, Titans: Exercised ($10.8MM)
20. TE Noah Fant, Seahawks: Exercised ($6.9MM; originally drafted by Broncos)
21. S Darnell Savage, Packers: Exercised ($7.9MM)
22. OT Andre Dillard, Eagles: Declined ($12.6MM)
23. OT Tytus Howard, Texans: Exercised ($13.2MM)
24. RB Josh Jacobs, Raiders: Declined ($8MM)
25. WR Marquise Brown, Cardinals: ($13.4MM; originally drafted by Ravens)
26. DE Montez Sweat, Commanders: Exercised ($11.5MM)
27. S Johnathan Abram, Raiders: Declined ($7.9MM)
28. DE Jerry Tillery, Chargers: Declined ($11.5MM)
29. DE L.J. Collier, Seahawks: Declined ($11.5MM)
30. CB Deandre Baker — N/A (released by Giants)
31. OT Kaleb McGary, Falcons: Declined ($13.2MM)
32. WR N’Keal Harry, Patriots: Declined ($12.4MM)

Bills To Pick Up Ed Oliver’s Fifth-Year Option

Another key defensive linemen will be staying put on his team in the AFC East. Bills general manager Brandon Beane confirmed that the team will pick up Ed Oliver‘s fifth-year option (Twitter link via ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg). 

[RELATED: NFL Announces Fifth-Year Option Values]

Slotting in at the third of four tiers with respect to value, Oliver’s option will come with a value of $10.753MM. The Bills had until May 2 to make the call, but they didn’t need the extra time to deliberate. Oliver is coming off of a strong year with perfect attendance, 41 tackles, 14 quarterback hits, ten tackles for loss, and four sacks. That brings his Buffalo career totals to 12 sacks, 21 tackles for loss, and 28 QB hits.

Now, it’s just a matter of bringing Oliver and his reps to the table for a long-term extension. He remains under contract for 2022 per his original rookie deal while this fifth-year option locks him in through 2023. Thanks to performance incentives, that ’23 season will pay him the average of the No. 3 — No. 20 highest paid DTs in the league today.

For 2024 and beyond, Oliver will likely be looking at a $10MM+ annual salary. That’s a good chunk of change for a not-quite-elite player, but there’s always a premium on young, disruptive defensive linemen.

AFC East Notes: Oliver, Dolphins, Thuney

Montgomery County (Texas) authorities are dropping charges against tackle Ed Oliver, Mark Berman of Fox 26 reports (on Twitter). The Bills defensive tackle was arrested on charges of DWI and unlawfully carrying a weapon in May. Attorney Gary Patterson said, via Berman, a lack of evidence prompted the charges to be dropped. Oliver may still face NFL punishment, but the 2020 CBA limited Roger Goodell‘s disciplinary powers on personal conduct issues. It is now certainly possible Oliver will be available for the Bills in Week 1.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • The NFL gave teams the option of having rookies report to training camp Tuesday, but Dolphins first-year players are set to arrive at the team’s facility Thursday, Barry Jackson and Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald note. Florida has become a global hot spot for the coronavirus, and the NFLPA had expressed concerns about teams opening up camp in certain areas. South Florida, Houston, Phoenix and Los Angeles were the locales the union mentioned, per Jackson, and it called for an emergency meeting of team doctors whose franchises reside in the most-affected areas. But the medical experts did not indicate camps in those places needed to be moved.
  • Minutes before the legal tampering period began in March, the Patriots surprisingly used their franchise tag to keep Joe Thuney off the market. The Patriots joining 11 other teams in opting not to sign a franchise-tagged player to an extension last week could point to Thuney being on the trade market. But the post-Tom Brady Pats are only carrying a $4.4MM combined cap charge at quarterback — a league-low figure, and Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes this will allow for more flexibility to carry Thuney’s $14.78MM tag number this season. While some major changes occurred in New England, the Pats are set to return five starting offensive linemen.
  • While Bills, Giants and Jets players will not have to quarantine for 14 days upon returning to the tri-state area, Patriots players who have spent their offseasons outside the New England region will need to do so upon arrival in the state where they work.

Latest On Bills DL Ed Oliver

Ed Oliver will continue to participate in the Bills’ offseason program, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (Twitter link). Meanwhile, the defensive lineman is facing charges for gun possession and driving while intoxicated following his Saturday night arrest.

[RELATED: Bills’ Ed Oliver Arrested On Gun, DWI Charges]

The Bills plan to let the legal process take its course, Pelissero hears, though it’s not immediately clear how the league office will proceed. Ideally, the Bills would like to have last year’s No. 9 overall pick on the field in 2020. Oliver showed serious potential with five sacks in his rookie year and he’s slated to take on an even larger role now that Jordan Phillips is out of the picture.

Last year, Phillips led the team with 9.5 sacks, but the Bills allowed him to walk in free agency knowing that Oliver could keep the pressure on. If Oliver’s availability is in doubt, the Bills may have to explore some out-of-house options for the front seven. For now, they’re projected to start Oliver, Mario Addison, Star Lotulelei, and Jerry Hughes on the front four. Meanwhile, they’ve got Quinton Jefferson, Vernon Butler, and Harrison Phillips among their backup options for the interior.

In other Bills news, GM Brandon Beane says he did not have any interest in a Sammy Watkins reunion this year. Watkins’ account may be slightly different, but in any case, the Bills are mostly set at wide receiver now that they have former Vikings superstar Stefon Diggs on board.

Bills’ Ed Oliver Arrested On Gun, DWI Charges

Bills defensive lineman Ed Oliver was arrested in Houston on Saturday night, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Police say Oliver had an open beer and a pistol when they pulled him over. Then, he failed a field sobriety test (via Montgomery County Police Reporter). Oliver also underwent a mandatory blood test to determine exactly what was in his system, but there were no drugs found in his car.

Oliver, 22, was the Bills’ No. 9 overall pick in the 2019 draft. As a rookie, he notched 43 tackles, five sacks, two passes defended, and a forced fumble. Before all of this, Oliver was on course for a potential breakout year, especially with last year’s sack leader Jordan Phillips in Arizona. He’s currently set to enter the second year of his four-year, $19.675MM deal, though this weekend’s incident could impact his availability. If Oliver is suspended under the personal conduct policy, he’ll forfeit his remaining $6.8MM in guarantees, as Michael Ginnitti of Spotrac tweets.

Per the 911 caller, the University of Houston product was weaving in-and-out of lanes and “driving dangerously,” prompting police to chase him down. It’s the latest in a series of troubling events for NFL players over the last week.

On Wednesday, Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar and Giants cornerback Deandre Baker allegedly robbed fellow partygoers at gunpoint in Florida. On Saturday morning, Colorado police say that Redskins wide receiver Cody Latimer fired a gun inside of an apartment. Four NFL players, three days, and 14+ cumulative charges, including several felonies. Oliver has joined the list of players who may be in serious trouble with the law, as well as the league office.

Poll: Which Top 10 Pick Has The Highest Bust Potential?

The NFL Draft is just barely in the rear view mirror, which means that teams are full of hope for their young rookies. But, of course, the NFL Draft is largely a crapshoot, and not every player will realize their full potential. 

This year’s draft had talent, but lacked a true consensus on the top player. Many evaluators pegged defensive end Nick Bosa as the player with the highest ceiling in the 2019 class, but other saw Alabama’s Quinnen Williams as the “safest bet.” The 49ers pounced on Bosa with the No. 2 pick while the Jets (and former GM Mike Maccagnan) were delighted to land Williams at No. 3 overall.

Leading up to the draft, much of the attention was on Oklahoma quarterback (and one-time MLB hopeful) Kyler Murray. When Murray announced that he would ditch the Oakland A’s, his stock exploded – Murray was considered a borderline first-round prospect in the winter, but wound up as the Cardinals’ choice at No. 1 overall. Murray has the speed that teams crave at the QB position, but questions persist about his size and overall lack of experience as a full-time starter.

The Cardinals’ long flirtation with Murray brought us the expected result, but the Raiders gave us the real first shock of the draft when they tapped Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 overall. Not to be outdone, the Giants snagged Duke’s Daniel Jones at No. 6 overall. Heading into the draft, neither player was thought to be anywhere near Top 10 consideration, but Mike Mayock and Dave Gettleman were unwilling to trade down and risk losing out on their guys.

The domino effect created by those picks allowed the Bucs to grab inside linebacker Devin White (No. 5 overall), the Jaguars to land outside linebacker Josh Allen (No. 6), the Lions to snag top tight end T.J. Hockenson, the Bills to draft defensive tackle Ed Oliver (No. 9 overall), and the Steelers to finish out the Top 10 with linebacker Devin Bush. Most of those picks were warmly received, but nothing is certain in the draft.

Which Top 10 pick do you think has the highest bust potential? Click below to cast your vote (link for app users) and back up your choice in the comment section.