This post contains affiliate links. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
Eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller has agreed to enter into agreements with the Buffalo Bills for a six-year contract, the team announced Wednesday.
Miller’s deal is worth $ 120 million, according to several reports. Sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that it includes $ 51.5 million guaranteed, including $ 45 million fully guaranteed at the time of signing.
The Bills also brought the veteran tight-end they were looking for, and agreed with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight-end OJ Howard on a one-year contract. Sources told Schefter that it is a $ 3.5 million deal that could be worth up to $ 5 million.
Miller immediately becomes the best pass-rusher on the Bills’ list, despite the team having invested significantly in defensive ends in the last two drafts. Buffalo has spent two second-round picks and one first-round pick on the position for the past two years, but lacked a player that opposing offenses should be aware of consistently.
Miller brings the bills just that. His 41 pressure last season would have been the most on the Bills; Jerry Hughes had a team-high 37 pressure for a defense that generated pressure at the second-highest speed last season (34% of dropbacks).
“I always want to put resources first. That’s just the way I think it should be built,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said earlier this offseason. “And never be shocked if you see us trying to add there, free agency or draft, at any point.”
Miller, who turns 33 on March 26, was an important part of the Los Angeles Rams’ race to the Super Bowl championships after being acquired from the Denver Broncos in November for the 2022 second- and third-round picks.
Initially hampered by an ankle injury sustained while still in Denver, Miller recorded five sacks for the Rams in eight games in the regular season and placed 12th in ESPN’s pass rush victory rate (20.9%). ). He then went on to record four more sacks in the postseason, including two of the Cincinnati Bengals ‘Joe Burrow in the Rams’ 23-20 victory in the Super Bowl LVI.
Miller’s postseason pass rush win rate of 41.5% was by far the highest of a player in a single postseason (with a minimum of 30 pass rush games of win or loss) since ESPN began tracking this metric in 2017. He and teammate Aaron Donald both had 18 pressures in the Rams’ four playoff games.
It was Miller’s second Super Bowl championship. He was named the Super Bowl 50 MVP when he had 2.5 sacks in the Broncos ’24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers, a team that included Bill’s coach Sean McDermott as the Panthers’ defensive coordinator and Brandon Beane as a front office member.
Buffalo has not had a player to end a season with 10 plus layoffs since Lorenzo Alexander in 2016 (12.5). Mario Addison was the only Bills defender with at least five kicks last season (seven). The Bills were one of four teams (Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs) that had one or fewer players with five plus-sacks. The team was involved in the hunt for other veteran pass rushers this offseason, as well as rounding off the defensive line with other free-agent signings.
Miller leads all active players with 115.5 sacks in his career. He has scored at least 10 sacks in seven of his 10 NFL seasons, including a career-best 18.5 in 2012, when he finished second in the Defensive Player of the Year award. I missed the 2020 season due to a left ankle injury that required surgery.
He was John Elway’s first draft pick for the Broncos (second overall in 2011) and was named defense rookie of the year that season. He became one of the most decorated players in the Broncos’ franchise history with eight Pro Bowl picks and three first-team All-Pro picks, and he was named to the 2010s entire decades team by the Hall of Fame committee board.
Howard, 27, will work alongside tight-end Dawson Knox, who comes after a career season and catches 49 passes on 587 yards. Knox, who became a goal for quarterback Josh Allen, ended the 2021 draw with Buccaneers tight-end Rob Gronkowski for the most receiving touchdowns on the score (nine).
Howard will add another weapon to Allen and likely introduce more two tight-end sets to the offense under first-year coordinator Ken Dorsey. Bills spent two-plus tight ends on a league-low 100 games last season, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Howard had more than 400 yards in three straight seasons to start his career before Gronkowski’s arrival in Tampa Bay.
ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg and Brady Henderson contributed to this report.