The Buffalo Bills clung to Ed Oliver for a while.
The former first-round pick has agreed to a 4-year, $68 million contract extension with $45 million guaranteed, according to ESPN. The deal will keep Oliver at Buffalo through the 2027 season.
Oliver was previously in free agency after this upcoming season, in which he was contracted for a $10.8 million salary through the fifth-year option of this rookie deal. According to OverTheCap, the $17 million average annual value of his new contract will tie him to Arik Armstead of the San Francisco 49ers at 13th among defensive tackles, a position that has had a very lucrative offseason.
Oliver has been a solid presence for the Bills defensive line over the past four years, but perhaps not the commanding presence some expected when he was a top draft prospect in Houston. The Bills selected him ninth overall in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The 25-year-old didn’t make a Pro Bowl or All-Pro team, but he had 151 tackles, 30 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks during his career.
The Bills were also under significant pressure to get quality defensive tackles signed long-term at least once, as the team no longer had an inside defensive lineman under contract after that year. It was something general manager Brandon Beane was well aware of, via ESPN:
“I would like not to finish the season and be at zero [defensive tackles under contract in 2024]”Beane said during the team’s rookie minicamp. “That would be my hope. But it should make sense. If that’s someone who’s here now, it would make sense to do an overtime with one of those guys, so we’ll see. You know me well. We found a way to do an extension or two sometimes in training camp, so maybe we look at that then, see where the guys are at, who’s everything, who looks good, and if there’s a chance of having an extended one, we might consider doing that.
Between his age and his production, Oliver was clearly the first choice among the team’s players currently under contract.