PFF predicts Bills sign DE Trey Hendrickson in free agency

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Nick Wojton
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The 2020 postseason showed that the Buffalo Bills should have interest in improving their pass rush this offseason. Pro Football Focus predicts that could start with Trey Hendrickson.

Hendrickson, 26, was a third-round pick of the Saints in 2017 and his rookie deal is coming to an end. He’ll be looking for a pay day after a promising 2020 and the football analytics out thinks Buffalo could give him that.

PFF recently predicted that Hendrickson will sign with the Bills and here’s part of their breakdown on the decision:

Of all the players in the free-agent pool, Hendrickson may have made himself the most money here in 2020. His career started with three years of average grades, but he’s getting after the quarterback at a high rate — and the NFL is noticing. Hendrickson was an outstanding player in college at Florida Atlantic, posting back-to-back years of 90.0-plus pass-rush grades. He then showed off his athleticism with above-average marks in the 40-yard dash, three-cone drill and broad jump at the NFL combine, giving him an intriguing profile of production and movement skills. It’s important not to completely overrate his sack totals this season, but Hendrickson has ranked as a mid-level pass-rusher and run defender in his four years in the league.

PFF also predicts that Bills shell out a decent pay day for Hendrickson:

Prediction: Bills sign Hendrickson for four years, $45 million ($11.25M APY): $25 million total guaranteed, $20 million fully guaranteed at signing.

In Hendrickson, the Bills would be adding the type of player that they haven’t had in quite a while: A double-digit sack artist. This past season, he notched 13.5 total . A perfect time for him in a contract year.

If the Bills were to sign Hendrickson. that means the defensive line would certainly have a makeover. If the NFL sets the 2021 salary cap at $185 million, according to Spotrac, the Bills would only have around $3 million in salary cap space heading into free agency.

In order to make room for Hendrickson and potentially re-signing other of their own pending free agents, the Bills would need to make some cuts and several guys on the defensive line could do the trick. Sizeable cap space can be found by moving on from guys like Mario Addison ($6.16M) and Quinton Jefferson ($6.5M).

It remains to be seen how the Bills do address their pass rush. Hendrickson might be a roll of the dice considering he only had double-digit sacks in just one season, but there is one added positive beside that with him.

In racking up 13.5 sacks, Hendrickson did so in 15 games… while playing in a rotation. He only saw the field for 53 percent of snaps on the Saints’ defense. In Sean McDermott’s defensive scheme in Buffalo, he would play a similar role.

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