1. Tremaine Edmunds
A two-time Pro Bowler in his first four NFL seasons, by some measures Edmunds had his best season in 2022. His overall grade from Pro Football Focus improved to 81.2 (from 48.5 in 2021), with his 90.0 coverage grade leading all linebackers. His passer rating against was 69.9, via Pro Football Reference, and per PFR he missed one tackle all season.
It will not be cheap to sign Edmunds, and the Bills could franchise tag him if only to buy more time to get a long-term deal done. More broadly, the Bills may be placing priority in keeping him over some other free agents (Jordan Poyer). And that leaves out any outside suitors for a 24 going to turn 25-year old linebacker with a resume like Edmunds’.
"Detroit needs to add more difference-makers on defense, and I see Edmunds as a prime fit at the second level of the Lions’ system,” Bowen wrote. “He’s a long 6-foot-5 linebacker with coverage range and downhill acceleration against the run game.”"
The Bills did not pick up Edmunds’ fifth-year option, and they didn’t subsequently try to sign him to an extension, which certainly motivated him last season. It’s easy to be skeptical of him honing some weaker areas in his game in a contract year. But the former first-round pick embodies what the Lions should be all about trying to adding to their defense–he’s young, he’s versatile and he’s supremely talented.