Buffalo Bills Could Cut Defensive Star This Offseason

Matt Milano, Buffalo Bills
JAMIE GERMANO-USA TODAY NETWORK

The Buffalo Bills underwent some major roster changes this offseason. On offense, key contributors such as wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis and center Mitch Morse were moved on from.

Defensively, the team’s secondary will look different. Cornerback Tre’Davius White signed with the Los Angeles Rams and safety Jordan Poyer headed to the Miami Dolphins. Leonard Floyd departed and signed with the San Francisco 49ers.

Safety Micah Hyde, defensive tackle Linval Joseph and edge rusher Shaq Lawson remain unsigned as free agents. Could another prominent member of their defense be joining the free agency ranks?

A player to keep an eye on, in the opinion of Alex Kay of Bleacher Report, is linebacker Matt Milano. Milano has been a major part of the Buffalo Bills’ defense for years, but his time with the franchise could be coming to an end in Kay’s opinion.

“Milano’s release would save Buffalo nearly $10 million this year, an appealing amount for a team that ranks in the bottom quarter of the league in cap space with just a shade over $8 million available at this juncture.

If Milano is released, plenty of teams in need of an elite linebacker should come calling. He’s consistently rated among the NFL’s best at his position in recent years—especially in coverage—and could bounce back to full strength after a serious injury,” Kay wrote.

Milano is only one year removed from an All-Pro campaign. In 2022, he was one of the best linebackers in the NFL and had the best season of his career.

He registered 99 tackles with 12 going for a loss, 11 passes defended, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and 1.5 sacks. Alas, there are questions of whether he can return to that level.

In 2023, he missed the final 12 games of the regular season with a fractured leg. It was the second time in four seasons he has missed at least six games.

Only once in his seven-season career has he played in every regular season game. He has been cleared to return to practice but is still far from 100 percent healthy.

How much patience will the Buffalo Bills show with Milano set to turn 30 years old in July? The team has seemingly been preparing to move on from him in recent offseasons, using several draft picks on linebackers.

In the last three drafts, four linebackers have been selected by the Buffalo Bills; Baylon Spector, Terrel Bernard, Dorian Williams and Edefuan Ulofoshio. Williams and Bernard will certainly be pushing for more playing time in 2024. If they look good in training camp, the salary cap savings could be too much to pass up for the franchise.

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