NFL Free Agency Primer: Tremaine Edmunds

The regular season has come to a close, and most teams have already begun the complicated process of preparing for the 2023 season. As the new league year approaches, we'll be covering the impending free agents most capable of shifting the balance of power in the NFL.

The Player: Tremaine Edmunds

The Buffalo Bills have been one of the NFL's truly elite defenses ever since drafting linebacker Tremaine Edmunds 16th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. Edmunds has started at least 13 games in all five of his pro seasons, and the Bills have finished sixth or better in yards allowed in four of those five years. With two Pro Bowls to his name and 565 total tackles on his resume, Edmunds could be one of free agency's most coveted players.

The Fit:

At 6'5" and 250 lbs, Edmunds is a throwback inside linebacker with plus athleticism. He finally put all his elite tools together in 2022, earning an impressive 79.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus. Despite his huge frame, he's surprisingly adept in pass coverage: he allowed a mere 69.9 passer rating on throws in his direction last year. He can be a leader and star for any defense in search of a thumper on the inside, though some teams may be put off by his sheer size.

The Contract:

Edmunds avoided the franchise tag, indicating the Bills deemed him unworthy of a one-year, $20.926 million deal. Therefore, he's unlikely to approach that number on a multi-year deal. He probably doesn't have enough splash plays or a high enough profile to become one of the league's highest-paid linebackers, but he should land just outside the elite tier occupied by Roquan Smith, Shaquille Leonard, and Fred Warner. He should be able to exceed Foyesade Oluokun's three-year, $45 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Photo Credit: © Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports