B/R calls DE the Bills’ ‘weakest link’ heading into offseason

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Nick Wojton
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The Buffalo Bills defense on the edge has been a hot-button topic lately. That’s what a free-agent pursuit of a three-time Defensive Player of the Year in JJ Watt will do to you.

But Bleacher Report recently gave some context as to possibly why that was the case.

B/R tabbed every NFL team’s “weakest link” prior to free agency. For the Bills, it was exactly that: Edge. Here’s the breakdown:

The Bills won the AFC East in 2020, but the team’s pass rush was in the middle of the pack, logging just 38 sacks. Buffalo tried to upgrade said pass rush last season with the addition of veteran Mario Addison, but while Addison tied for the team lead in sacks, the 33-year-old did so with just five.

B/R goes on to mention that the tight salary cap will play a factor here for the Bills as well…

Is defensive end probably one of the Bills’ top needs this offseason? Yes… but the salary cap really isn’t going to play a huge part here if the Bills want to make some moves.

First, Trent Murphy is a pending free agent. Assuming he walks, there is one roster spot. In addition, Mario Addison, who saw the most edge snaps behind Jerry Hughes last season, is a cap casualty. If cut, the Bills could save $6.2M in cap space, according to Spotrac, which could be put toward another pass-rushing option and it’s a move that opens up another roster spot.

Furthermore, Hughes’ play dictates that he stays, but he also is on a contract that might be one the Bills could reconstruct to make further cap space. There is some maneuvering Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane can do here.

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