BUFFALO, N.Y. — In relation to Buffalo Payments gamers who’re due for sizeable contract extensions within the close to future, a lot of the dialog (deservedly) surrounds quarterback Josh Allen, who stands to develop into one of many highest paid gamers in NFL historical past.
Swept considerably below the rug, nonetheless, is two-time Professional Bowl linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who because the Payments’ 2018 first-round draft choose enters his fourth NFL season at 23 years outdated.
Buffalo picked up the fifth-year choice value $12.7 million on Edmunds’ rookie contract in Could, after common supervisor Brandon Beane steered that if the choice was picked up for Edmunds in addition to Allen, it would not make a lot sense to take action with out extending each gamers.
“You’ll be able to’t actually be versatile with these cap numbers, so we have to ensure if we choose them each up, that we will need to get near $35 million house in subsequent yr’s cap,” Beane mentioned in April. “It isn’t a perfect situation for that to select them each up and never lengthen them. We simply acquired to sort of work out how we will make that work in our system.”
Statistically, Edmunds turned in a stable 2020 season with 119 tackles, together with 4 for a loss in 15 video games — however one thing appeared off. He missed Buffalo’s Week 2 win on the Miami Dolphins with a shoulder harm earlier than returning to play in his staff’s remaining 14 video games, however he appeared sluggish to react on sure performs or hesitant to provoke contact.
Each critiques will be attributed to Edmunds’ lack of chemistry with A.J. Klein, who stuffed in for standard beginning linebacker Matt Milano for six video games whereas the latter was injured, and his shoulder holding him from enjoying at 100%.
However the two-time Professional Bowler was additionally higher than the Web would possibly lead one to consider. Edmunds’ 4.91-second common time to sort out ranked twenty second amongst certified linebackers (at the least 700 snaps performed), and his 0.86 second get-off ranked ninth. Translation: Regardless of the chemistry points and harm woes, Edmunds was processing the sport rapidly.
Payments defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier recommended the younger linebacker for his function on the sphere and off it.
“Tremaine would say the identical factor, that he actually grew this season. He is grown in his first couple seasons right here collectively, and I am enthusiastic about what the longer term holds for his improvement,” Frazier mentioned. “I believe greater than something, the world I noticed him develop probably the most in was simply his affect as a pacesetter, his affect by way of his persona popping out a bit of bit extra on our protection and his depth.
“Tremaine labored by means of a pair challenges early within the season with an harm or two, and I assumed that that may be a great studying expertise for him, as effectively. So these are all rising alternatives for our younger linebacker.”
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Edmunds mentioned he wish to be extra constant in his fourth skilled season, which started by attending Buffalo’s organized staff actions and minicamp practices in full, alongside the lately prolonged Milano.
The Virginia Tech product mentioned the offseason cohesion has put the Payments’ protection forward of the place it was at this level final season. Edmunds mentioned this yr’s model of the staff is “on a mission” after final yr’s loss within the AFC Championship Sport, which he additionally mentioned taught them how a lot additional they should push to succeed in a Tremendous Bowl.
They’re going to additionally want Edmunds so as to take action; fortuitously for the Payments, he believes his greatest soccer continues to be forward of him. Spotrac estimates Edmunds’ market worth at $13.5 million a yr over 5 seasons — contemplating he could be 28 on the finish of that deal, Buffalo might reap the advantages of Edmunds’ improvement for the subsequent decade or so.
“I do know my mindset and I do know my potential in what I might do,” Edmunds mentioned. “I am a man that I all the time need to get higher. So I am by no means going to suppose that I am in my full potential. There’s all the time some room to develop. And I take that method in every little thing that I do, so no matter I do, my mindset is to get higher.”