One of the breakout stars across not just the team but across the NFL last season was linebacker Lorenzo Alexander. Recording career highs in tackles (76), sacks (12.5), pass deflections (6), forced fumbles (3), and interceptions, Alexander has arguably, the best breakout season any 33-year old player could ever ask for.
With all of that said, Alexander turned 34 last month. He is not going to get better this season, in fact, based on his overall career arc, Alexander is destined to have a reduction in production this season. Whether that regression is massive or small remains to be seen, but one will almost certainly to occur nonetheless.
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Because of this, the effort to re-sign Lorenzo Alexander earlier this offseason could be costly in the long run. The biggest issue that I have here is that the Buffalo Bills currently have multiple linebackers capable of starting in Sean McDermott’s 4-3 defense. Namely, the biggest problem I have is that Alexander will start over Preston Brown.
One of the best players on the Buffalo Bills defense since he arrived, Preston Brown has been a tackling machine. Putting up 100-plus tackle seasons, Brown now looks to be on his way out of Buffalo. Even if he is not released, it is highly unlikely that Brown will earn a starting spot. One of the reasons for this could be that Lorenzo Alexander was re-signed.
Entering the fourth-year of his rookie deal, the potential benching of Brown could weigh heavily when it comes time for him to sign a new contract. In the reality where Brown leaves, the Bills will have lost a player that recorded over 100 tackles in each of his first three seasons because they re-signed a 33-year old on the backend of his career.
Overall, this move would not only hurt in the short term but also in the long term. Losing out on a player like Brown because of Alexander’s success last season would be disastrous for the Buffalo Bills and head coach Sean McDermott.