The Buffalo Bills began free agency this week with 22 unrestricted free agents. On Saturday, outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander became the first of that group to re-sign with Buffalo.

Terms: Two years, $9 million with $4.1 million guaranteed

Lorenzo Alexander

The Bills got a better than expected price on Alexander, who finished tied for third in the NFL last season in sacks and looked poised for a late-career payday. The modest guaranteed money and per-year average ($4.5 million) of his deal pale in comparison to the league’s top pass-rushers and should not constrict the Bills’ salary cap. It still remains to be seen where Alexander will fit in coach Sean McDermott’s 4-3 defensive scheme, but at the very least he provides a veteran presence in the locker room and will contribute on special teams.

Alexander was one of the bright spots on the Bills’ defense last season, playing in 73 percent of snaps as an outside linebacker and sub-package pass-rusher. The question is whether he has the athleticism required to play outside linebacker in McDermott’s scheme, a spot that figures to be less about setting the edge in the running game and more about making plays in space. If Alexander isn’t a good fit for that role, he could still contribute as an edge rusher in sub packages alongside Jerry Hughes and Shaq Lawson, who are the presumed starters at defensive end.

Lorenzo Alexander turns 34 in May–if he can sustain his performance from last season, the deal will make plenty of sense for Buffalo. Yet, the brutal reality of the NFL is that the end of the road often comes quickly for players in their mid-30s. If Alexander starts to slow down, or if he can’t settle into a role in McDermott’s defense, then the Bills will be paying a premium for his help on special teams. Like any other free-agent signing, there is a downside for the Bills that is partly reflected in the modest price they paid for Alexander.

Bottom line: Alexander is an aging veteran who never really “shined” on the defensive side of the ball until last season and that was in a 3-4 scheme. He’s never fit or played well in a 4-3 system which is exactly what Sean McDermott will be running in Buffalo. The $4.5 million per year doesn’t look like a lot but when the ultimate outcome will be for a player who is relegated to special teams how much value is there in this deal? Not a lot.

https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/lorenzo-alexander-bills-today.jpg?fit=588%2C400&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/lorenzo-alexander-bills-today.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Dan SchalkAFC EastBuffalo BillsNFLRecent PostsBuffalo Bills,Lorenzo Alexander,NFLThe Buffalo Bills began free agency this week with 22 unrestricted free agents. On Saturday, outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander became the first of that group to re-sign with Buffalo. Terms: Two years, $9 million with $4.1 million guaranteed The Bills got a better than expected price on Alexander, who finished tied...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?