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ESPN: Lions named ‘best fit’ for Bills free agent LB Tremaine Edmunds

With free agency slowly approaching, the Buffalo Bills might have to face a reality of life without linebacker Tremaine Edmunds.

ESPN named a potential top suitor for Edmunds if he were to depart Buffalo. It’s not one that’s very far.

The former world-wide leader ranked the top-50 pending free agents in the NFL and their “best fit” in terms of where they should sign their next contract. Edmunds, at No. 18, back to the Bills was not the choice. Rather, it’s the Detroit Lions.

Currently Detroit might be a better option simply because of the finances. While Buffalo is nearly $20 million over the 2023 salary cap, the Lions have $23M in cap space, the 10th most in the NFL, per Spotrac.

Detroit will likely go on to create even more cap space, which could allow them to spend big bucks on a defensive free agent. The Lions could consider that to be exact what they need. Their offense began to turn things around in 2023, but defensively, Detroit has been a mess.

Pro Football Focus recently projected Edmunds could make up to $17M per year on his next contract. That would make Edmunds the fourth-highest paid inside linebacker in the NFL.

Time will if the Bills can, or would like to, reach those financial levels to retain Edmunds.

ESPN’s explanation of Edmunds’ best fit being the Lions can be found below:

Detroit needs to add more difference-makers on defense, and I see Edmunds as a prime fit at the second level of the Lions’ system. He’s a long 6-foot-5 linebacker with coverage range and downhill acceleration against the run game. Edmunds registered seven pass breakups, 102 tackles, one interception and a sack in 2022. He’s a young player at age 25, but Edmunds has already started 74 games over five pro seasons. He would be a strong addition to a Detroit team that was among the worst on defense last season but will have the opportunity to compete for the NFC North title this fall.

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Story originally appeared on Bills Wire