The Bills are going to have some difficult decisions to make during free agency. According to Albert Breer of SI.com, the Bills have “confronted the reality that it’s going to be tough” to retain both linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and safety Jordan Poyer.
The Bills already have $240MM on the books for the 2023 campaign, and they’ve previously invested in sizable contracts at both linebacker (Matt Milano) and safety (Micah Hyde). As a result, the cash-strapped Bills will be hard pressed to find the necessary cap space to retain both of their key free agents, leading to a difficult choice as they prepare for the offseason.
ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg writes that the Bills “appear more likely to re-sign Edmunds than Poyer.” Edmunds’ impact on both the passing game and running game is invaluable, and while Poyer also brings top-notch production, the Bills would have a more difficult time replacing Edmunds’ production on defense. The linebacker has spent his entire career in Buffalo after being selected in the first round of the 2018 draft. The two-time Pro Bowler finished with his fifth 100-tackle season in 2022, adding six tackles for loss and seven passes defended. GM Brandon Beane acknowledged that the franchise tag could be in play for the impending free agent.
Poyer completed his sixth season with the Bills in 2022, finishing with 63 tackles and four interceptions en route to a Pro Bowl selection. The veteran earned a first-team All-Pro nod in 2021 after finishing with five interceptions and three sacks. After signing a four-year contract with the organization back in 2017, he inked a two-year extension with the Bills in 2020. Beane previously expressed interest in retaining Poyer, although he cautioned that the organization will need clarity on the cap before knowing how to proceed.
Last offseason, the Bills made one of the biggest splashes when they inked Von Miller to a mega-deal.. This time around, the Bills aren’t expecting as many fireworks. Beane previously told reporters that he’s not anticipating a major move at any point this offseason, admitting that they’re instead going to “have to work to get under the cap.”