Outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander had a career year for the Buffalo Bills in his contract year, and the Bills have rewarded him with the belief that he can do it again.
Alexander and the Bills have come to terms on a two-year, $9 million contract with $4.1 million of it being guaranteed cash. The 33-year-old Alexander, who will turn 34 this off-season, took to Twitter to confirm his new deal with the Bills:
Going back to Buffalo! #billsmafia pic.twitter.com/J5LR7pQmFT
— Lorenzo Alexander (@onemangang97) March 11, 2017
While the Bills didn’t have the season they expected overall, the emergence of Alexander was a very pleasant surprised. He recorded 76 total tackles along with 6 pass deflections, 4 stuffs, 3 forced fumbles, and 1 interception. Alexander’s play was especially noticed in terms of rushing the passer, where he took down the opposing quarterback 12.5 times in 2016.
Those 12.5 sacks ranked 3rd in the NFL, trailing only Denver’s Von Miller and Atlanta’s Vic Beasley Jr. for the most in the league last season. It was also a career year for Alexander in terms of starts. He started every game for the Bills in 2016 after starting just 16 total in his 11 NFL seasons.
With Sean McDermott now the head coach in Buffalo after the Bills fired Rex Ryan, the team will be switching away from the base 3-4 defense that Alexander exceed in, and switching over to the 4-3 defense instead. Alexander ensured publicly in January that he can play any defensive scheme in the league:
“I’ve heard great things about (McDermott),” Alexander told SiriusXM NFL Radio following Pro Bowl practice at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. “I know I can play in any scheme in the league, but obviously coaches have their own opinion.
Buffalo still has a lot of work to do in free agency and the draft this off-season, but retaining Alexander and signing versatile defensive back Micah Hyde along with fullbacks Patrick DiMarco and Mike Tolbert.
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