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By: Matt Warren
Take a deep breath, Brandon Beane. The Buffalo Bills’ general manager just buttoned up the most important contract extension of his career and with nothing pressing in that department, you can put down the calculator for a minute.
Who is going to be the next contract extension for the Bills, and when do you think that will happen? This is what could happen.
- WR Stefon Diggs
Normally we wouldn’t see an in-season extension for a player. Normally we wouldn’t see an extension for a player with 2.5 years left on his deal, either. Diggs is special, though. He’s an All-Pro receiver who ranks 19th in terms of average annual salary. Buffalo didn’t give him very much money because the Minnesota Vikings paid his signing bonus. It’s time to add two or three years to the Diggs deal to give him a pay raise.
- DE Jerry Hughes
Are the young guys ready to be the top guys in Buffalo? Probably not. Mario Addison and Hughes are free agents at the end of the year (along with Efe Obada). Extending your defensive captain from a year ago for one more season seems like a good idea and Hughes didn’t look like he had lost a step in 2020. If he keeps playing well in 2021, give him a 2022 deal.
Early Offseason 2022
- DT Ed Oliver
The Bills will have to decide early on about exercising Oliver’s fifth-year option for the 2023 season. I anticipate that’s going to happen but a breakout year from Oliver could get him a longer-term contract extension. The single year to keep him under contract through the end of 2023 is probably the most likely outcome at this point.
- WR Isaiah McKenzie
McKenzie could finally sign the multi-year deal he’s been looking for if he can lock down the KR/PR job in Buffalo. They clearly love him as the gadget guy in their offense. Especially if offensive coordinator Brian Daboll sticks around again, McKenzie could be in line to finally get away from one-year deals.
- CB Levi Wallace
It doesn’t appear that the Bills are interested in upgrading over Wallace, so bringing him back a year from now will be a solid backstop plan. He could potentially sign a low-end multi-year deal. Heck, if he’s your second or third CB making $2 to $3 million a year, you’re probably feeling pretty good.
- LB Tremaine Edmunds
Edmunds will be a free agent after 2022, but with a large cap number in guaranteed money next season, it would be better for all parties if they could negotiate a longer-term extension. I’m not ready to give that to Edmunds yet, but if he can generate some turnovers and big plays in 2021 while proving the start of 2020 was a fluke caused by injury, I might be convinced.
- CB Taron Johnson
I’m not a huge fan of Taron Johnson week-in and week-out. He has had splash plays, for sure, but he was also abused against the Kansas City Chiefs. He’s a one-year deal kind of guy for me and he’s set to become a free agent.
- WR Emmanuel Sanders
- QB Mitchell Trubisky
- WR Jake Kumerow
- TE Jacob Hollister
- OG Ike Boettger
- DE Efe Obada
- DT Vernon Butler
- DT Harrison Phillips
- DT Justin Zimmer
- LB Terrell Adams
- LB Marquel Lee
- CB Siran Neal
The list is comprised of role players who currently have one year left on their deals. Some potentially won’t even make the 2021 53-man roster but I’m listing them anyway. One or two of them could play themselves into a prominent role during 2021, but I doubt any will warrant a multi-year commitment when the season is over. They’ll be addressed in late February, March, and potentially into April after testing the market and the NFL Draft.
Late offseason 2022
- OG Cody Ford
- TE Dawson Knox
This pair of underachievers will be entering the final year of their rookie deals. Neither has earned an extension at this point and they’ll need solid 2021 seasons to get on the radar for an extension. Even then, I’d be shocked if either of them were signed before 2022 training camp with the list we just went through.