Buffalo’s middle linebacker is a three-down force on a reasonable rookie deal
Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane made two franchise-altering draft choices in the 2018 NFL Draft. Most importantly, he traded up to select the team’s franchise quarterback in Josh Allen. He also traded up to select a young player he hoped would develop into the “quarterback of the defense.”
Fast forward three years and Beane’s vision has come to fruition. The Bills have given both of those young players a tremendous amount of responsibility, and each player has already made at least one Pro Bowl.
Coming in at number three on our list of the Buffalo Bills’ best salary cap values of 2020 is the quarterback of the defense.
2020 Salary Cap Figure: $3,452,603 (1.56 percent of team’s cap)
2020 Stats: 119 tackles, four tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, two sacks, three pass breakups
Edmunds fought through a shoulder injury early in the season, and that injury negatively impacted his play. He knew, however, that the team was better with him on the field at half-strength than they would have been with his backups. As Edmunds’s health improved, so did his play, and by the end of the season he was back to being one of the league’s best linebackers. In the playoffs, Edmunds was a disruptive force, totaling 25 tackles, two quarterback hits, and three pass breakups. At just 23 years old, Edmunds already has two Pro Bowl nods to his credit, and he continues to improve every day. The Bills have a luxury that most other teams don’t have in that two of their linebackers are just as capable of sacking the quarterback as they are playing man coverage on a tight end. Edmunds allows the Bills to do so many things defensively—all on a rookie contract.