Instant reaction: Bills re-sign Matt Milano

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Nick Wojton
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The Buffalo Bills made nothing short of a huge move on Thursday. Linebacker Matt Milano was re-signed.

Milano, a 2017 fifth-round pick of the Bills, was all but expected to hit free agency as his rookie contract was set to expire. The market opens soon, on March 17, and instead the Bills will get him back.

We do know it’s a four-year contract worth $44 million, but the full financial terms of the deal have yet be released. Regardless, the Bills are going to be making a big investment in their linebacker corps for the foreseeable future.

Along with Milano’s new contract, the fifth-year option on Tremaine Edmunds’ rookie deal is looming. That will cost the Bills $12.7M in 2022.

Still, the importance of getting Milano back cannot be overstated for Buffalo.

In Sean McDermott’s defense, it reads as a base 4-3 unit, but it’s not. The team runs a nickel-based formation, meaning two linebackers are rolled out for most the game, not three. This puts that much more importance on those two guys.

Pending health issues with Milano, it’s clear when both him and Edmunds are out there and healthy, things flow smoother. Milano plays an important role, and let’s not forget to mention his biggest strength.

Milano is a former safety turned linebacker. That background is likely why he has often thrived in coverage, especially against opposing tight ends.

While the Chiefs and Travis Kelce did have a huge day against Milano and Buffalo’s defense in the AFC Championship game last season, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an upgrade.

Whether it’s in free agency or the draft, Milano is the Bills’ best bet to cover elite tight ends, like the one that could very well stand between Buffalo and the Super Bowl… once again… next year.

Finally, it’s worth noting the simple truths of the matter. With Milano in the fold, that’s one less hole to plug in Brandon Beane’s roster this offseason before the heavy hauling even gets started.

Never a bad thing… and of course, the Bills are showing more people that they’re a team of their word.

Produce for the Bills? You will be rewarded.

Considering Milano appeared to be nearly all the way out the door? This re-signing of a draft pick by Buffalo might speak the highest volumes of the mantra that McDermott and Beane have touted for years.

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