Bills LB Matt Milano likely to test free agency (report)

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Nick Wojton
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It already seemed pretty unlikely that the Bills would be able to find a sum of money to throw in linebacker Matt Milano’s way to keep him off the free agency market.

If the scenario could go any further in that direction, it has. According to the AP, Milano, a former-fifth round pick of the Bills, is going to explore free agency in March.

The writing has all but been on the wall for Buffalo all offseason. In 2020, the NFL salary cap was slated at $198.2 million. Each year in recent memory, that has gone up and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic keeping fans out of the stands last year, that was likely to continue.

Instead, the cap will reportedly decline and land somewhere between $180-185 million, per reports, right where the Bills’ cap sits. Had the cap at least stayed at the 2020 level, and especially if it had gone up, Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane would have a much easier task re-signing Milano.

He’s now likely to test a free agency market that’s thin at linebacker as well. Pro Football Focus recently pegged their top-50 pending free agents heading into the offseason, and Milano was one of only outside linebackers.

At the end of the Bills’ season, Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane said that Milano, 26, has “the right” to test the market. He said a similar thing about defensive linemen Shaq Lawson and Jordan Phillips in 2019, both of whom signed deals on the open market with other clubs.

Still, if the market is potentially not what Milano expects, he could circle back around to Buffalo.

Bills Wire recently pegged 10 teams that could potentially be interested in adding Milano if he reaches the start of free agency on March 15 unsigned. Find that link below:

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