During the Buffalo Bills‘ final week of OTAs (organized team activities), linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who’s entering the fifth and final year of his rookie contract, broke his silence on his stalled extension.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound linebacker, who was selected by the Bills in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, didn’t sound incredibly confident that he would be back in Buffalo next year while speaking to the media on Tuesday, June 7, but the 24-year-old is willing to step things up to earn that extension.
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“All I can control is how I come out each and every day, and just work,” Edmunds said. “All that kind of stuff, you kind of just put it on the top shelf and do the stuff that you’ve been doing this whole time. And like I said, that’s just me coming out working, me continuing to get better because there’s still a lot of stuff that I know I can get better with.”
As it stands, the final year of Edmunds’ contract comes with an cap hit of $12.7 million, per OvertheCap.com. According to Sports Illustrated‘s Nick Fierro, “that could be reduced by as much as $9.3 million with an extension.”
The two-time Pro Bowler showing up to voluntary OTAs shows Edmunds is ready to put in the work. Safety Jordan Poyer, who went public with his plea for a contract extension two months ago, has yet to report to any voluntary workouts in Buffalo.
In addition to Edmunds and Poyer, 31, the Bills need to figure out what to do with tight end Dawson Knox, 25, and running back Devin Singeltary, 24, both of whom are also set to become free agents at the end of the 2022-23 NFL Season.
Edmunds Is Coming Off the Worst Season of His Career, But Leslie Frazier Remains Confident He’ll Bounce Back
After making the Pro Bowl in 2019 and 2020, Edmunds’ production dipped on every level last season. In 2021, Edmunds started all 15 games he appeared in and finished with career lows in total tackles (108), assists (38), sacks (0), and quarterback hits (1), per Pro Football Reference.
Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, however, isn’t worried about Edmunds continuing to regress.
“He’s been a tremendous player for us,” Frazier said during his press conference on Tuesday. “He makes a lot of plays and leads our defense, and you just have to be able to block out the noise and go out there and play the way he’s capable of playing, and everything will fall into place.
“I think he knows this: You want more splash plays. You want those big plays in ballgames. That play he made against the Texans, the interception he came up with, that was a huge play in that ballgame. It really helped propel us along the way to a really good performance. And [we need] more plays like that. And if we get that, he’ll help take us to another level as a defense. He’s capable, he’s shown that.”
Edmunds Has ‘A Ton to Prove’ This Season
The Buffalo News reporter Jay Skurski wrote that out of the entire Bills roster, Edmunds is truly “in the hot seat” this season.
“After handing out big-money deals to Josh Allen and Von Miller, among others, there is no guarantee Edmunds will get an extension,” Skurski surmised on May 31. “The former first-round draft pick is a polarizing player for fans. Calling him a bust would definitely be a stretch, but expecting a bit more from him – given when he was picked – is fair.
“At some point, General Manager Brandon Beane isn’t going to be able to pay everybody. The Bills already paid Matt Milano, and may not want to sink big money into two linebackers. Edmunds has a ton to prove in 2022.”