Tremaine Edmunds’ greatest soccer forward of him as contract extension nears

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — With regards to Buffalo Bills gamers who’re due for sizeable contract extensions within the close to future, a lot of the dialog (deservedly) surrounds quarterback Josh Allen, who stands to develop into one of many highest paid gamers in NFL historical past.

Swept considerably below the rug, nevertheless, is two-time Professional Bowl linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who because the Payments’ 2018 first-round draft decide enters his fourth NFL season at 23 years previous.

Buffalo picked up the fifth-year choice price $12.7 million on Edmunds’ rookie contract in Might, after common supervisor Brandon Beane prompt that if the choice was picked up for Edmunds in addition to Allen, it would not make a lot sense to take action with out extending each gamers.

“You may’t actually be versatile with these cap numbers, so we have to ensure if we decide them each up, that we will must get near $35 million area in subsequent yr’s cap,” Beane mentioned in April. “It isn’t a super situation for that to choose them each up and never lengthen them. We simply obtained to type of work out how we will make that work in our system.”

Statistically, Edmunds turned in a stable 2020 season with 119 tackles, together with 4 for a loss in 15 video games — however one thing appeared off. He missed Buffalo’s Week 2 win on the Miami Dolphins with a shoulder damage earlier than returning to play in his staff’s remaining 14 video games, however he appeared gradual to react on sure performs or hesitant to provoke contact.

Each critiques might be attributed to Edmunds’ lack of chemistry with A.J. Klein, who stuffed in for traditional beginning linebacker Matt Milano for six video games whereas the latter was injured, and his shoulder preserving him from taking part in at 100%.

However the two-time Professional Bowler was additionally higher than the Web may lead one to imagine. Edmunds’ 4.91-second common time to sort out ranked twenty second amongst certified linebackers (at the least 700 snaps performed), and his 0.86 second get-off ranked ninth. Translation: Regardless of the chemistry points and damage woes, Edmunds was processing the sport rapidly.

Payments defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier counseled the younger linebacker for his position on the sphere and off it.

“Tremaine would say the identical factor, that he actually grew this season. He is grown in his first couple seasons right here collectively, and I am enthusiastic about what the longer term holds for his growth,” Frazier mentioned. “I feel greater than something, the world I noticed him develop probably the most in was simply his influence as a frontrunner, his influence when it comes to his persona popping out a bit of bit extra on our protection and his depth.

“Tremaine labored via a pair challenges early within the season with an damage or two, and I assumed that that may be studying expertise for him, as effectively. So these are all rising alternatives for our younger linebacker.”

Edmunds mentioned he want to be extra constant in his fourth skilled season, which started by attending Buffalo’s organized staff actions and minicamp practices in full, alongside the recently extended Milano.

The Virginia Tech product mentioned the offseason cohesion has put the Payments’ protection forward of the place it was at this level final season. Edmunds mentioned this yr’s model of the staff is “on a mission” after last year’s loss in the AFC Championship Game, which he additionally mentioned taught them how a lot additional they should push to succeed in a Tremendous Bowl.

They will additionally want Edmunds so as to take action; happily for the Payments, he believes his greatest soccer remains to be forward of him. Spotrac estimates Edmunds’ market worth at $13.5 million a yr over 5 seasons — contemplating he can be 28 on the finish of that deal, Buffalo may reap the advantages of Edmunds’ growth for the following decade or so.

“I do know my mindset and I do know my means in what I may do,” Edmunds mentioned. “I am a man that I at all times need to get higher. So I am by no means going to suppose that I am in my full potential. There’s at all times some room to develop. And I take that method in every little thing that I do, so no matter I do, my mindset is to get higher.”