Insider Drops Telling Update on Bills LB Tremaine Edmunds’ Future

Tremaine Edmunds

Getty Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds warms up prior to the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2023.

After the Buffalo Bills‘ postseason journey came to an abrupt end, the focus turned toward the team’s key group of pending free agents, most notably, the futures of safety Jordan Poyer and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. Because the Bills are approximately $20 million over the salary cap for next season, keeping both players seemed next to impossible.

While the writing appeared to be on the wall with Poyer, 31, after the Bills neglected to give him the extension he asked for ahead of the 2022 NFL season, it made sense for Buffalo to prioritize investing in their 24-year-old linebacker, who led the team with 102 tackles this season, and whose prime years still lay ahead.

However, on March 8, ESPN’s lead insider Adam Schefter dropped a bombshell regarding Edmunds’ future while discussing the Bills’ decision not to utilize the franchise tag on NFL Live, which general manager Brandon Beane had alluded to while speaking to the media at the NFL Combine last week.

Amid the discussion of the Bills losing Leslie Frazier as defensive coordinator and how Poyer is expected to land with another team, Schefter interjects to say, “They’re also expected to lose Tremaine Edmunds in Buffalo, as well. A free agent – And I don’t think he’ll be back in Buffalo.”

While this could merely be Schefter’s opinion, for the most plugged-in analyst in the NFL to arrive at this conclusion — it’s hard to ignore. The Bills exercised Edmunds’ fifth-year option back in March 2021, which was worth $12.71 million. According to, his market value dictates an expected four-year, $44 million offer in free agency, but it could end up being much higher than that. Pro Football Focus projects Edmunds will land a three-year, $45.75 million with $28.5 million total guaranteed.

While Edmunds has been a polarizing figure among fans over the past few years, he excelled in 2022, earning a 79.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus this past season, a huge jump from the 50.4 overall grade earned in 2021, the 47.9 overall grade in 2020.

McDermott Called Edmunds an Irreplaceable Player

While addressing reporters at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last week, McDermott offered the Bills’ former first-round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft high praise, which made Schefter’s comment all the more surprising.

“He was such a young player when we first got him out of the draft,” McDermott said of Edmunds, who joined the team at age 19. “And he’s still a young player with his age. But to watch him mature and grow on the field, off the field has been a true joy as a coach. I can tell you that he’s a class act.”

McDermott struggled to picture the Virginia Tech alum playing for another team. “You never replace a person or a player like a Tremaine Edmunds, if that’s where you’re going with that,” he said. “Again, we’ve just got to take it one day at a time and see how it all fits together here.”

The head coach’s confidence in Edmunds seemed even more poignant considering he’s in line to take over the defensive play-calling in Frazier’s absence. Throughout Edmunds’ five seasons in Buffalo, he’s recorded a total of 565 tackles, 32 tackles for a loss, 18 quarterback hits, 6.5 sacks, and five interceptions.

Edmunds Said He’d ‘Love’ to Stay in Buffalo

Tremaine Edmunds

GettyTremaine Edmunds #49 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates after an interception against the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium on January 08, 2023.

After losing 27-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Divisional round on January 22, Tremaine said he would love to stay in Buffalo. “I care so much about this team. I care so much about this organization… Hopefully, I’m here, I love it here, I love the brothers that I’ve created since I’ve been here, the coaching staff, the community has welcomed me. So hopefully, things will turn out to be in my favor as far as being here,” Edmunds told reporters.

Nearly a month later, while speaking to Fox Sports‘ Henry McKenna, Edmunds discussed his feelings on entering free agency while knowing the Bills are hard against the cap. “I’m gonna let the process take shape,” Edmunds said. “You know what I mean? Like, you know, they’ve been good to me. So I definitely say thank you to the Bills for everything that they’ve done for me these last five years. But like I said, man, I’m just right now — I’m in the backseat.”

While‘s Gregg Rosenthal believes Edmunds is too expensive for the Bills to keep and urged them to use their money elsewhere, The Athletic‘s Joe Buscaglia wrote letting him walk after “putting everything together for his best year yet” would be a mistake. “His abilities to help free up [Matt] Milano and vice versa make them a formidable duo and one the franchise shouldn’t want to break up,” Buscaglia surmised.

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