NFL Free Agency: Von Miller makes Buffalo Bills the Super Bowl favorite

The Buffalo Bills have to be considered Super Bowl favorites after landing future Hall of Fame edge rusher Von Miller in NFL free agency.

In the world of instant analysis, sometimes the media (we) are prone to hyperbole. The Buffalo Bills made the biggest splash so far in the NFL free agency period by signing Von Miller to a six-year, $120 million contract. It sounds ridiculous, but as with all NFL contracts, the numbers don’t matter until we read the fine print. One thing is certain: Signing Miller makes the Bills as big a contender as there is in the AFC.

NFL Free Agency: Buffalo Bills go all-in by signing Von Miller

Last season, the Bills were an overtime possession away from making it to the AFC Conference Championship Game. They managed that without All-Pro Tre’Davious White on the field, as the star cornerback suffered a torn ACL in November.

Miller was on the opposite side of the country by that time. The now two-time Super Bowl champion was traded from Denver to Los Angeles earlier that month. Now, he joins what was the top defense in both expected points added (EPA) per play and Football Outsiders’ DVOA in 2021.

The veteran pass rusher played a massive role in the Rams’ playoff run. Miller turned back the clock to 2015, notching 4 sacks in the four playoff games. He had 5 of them during the Broncos’ Super Bowl run in 2015.

Adding a superstar to an already talented defense

Miller still has the most beautiful “ghost” move in the game, and he was the eighth-ranked player on Pro Football Network’s Top 100 Free Agents list. He may be 32, but he showed in 2021 he can still play a high snap count. However, he won’t have to given the depth the Bills boast at defensive end.

Buffalo has spent significant draft capital on the position over the past few seasons. First, they drafted A.J. Epenesa in Round 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft. Then, the Bills followed that up by drafting Gregory Rousseau and Boogie Basham in the first two rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.

On the second level, they have one of the best coverage linebackers in the league in Matt Milano, and Tremaine Edmunds, who is still just 23 years old. In the back end, they have arguably the best safety tandem in the NFL between Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. And I’ve already mentioned White on the outside.

They’ve also added some large bodies on the interior via free agency pickups. DaQuan Jones is a stout run defender, and Tim Settle gets to reunite with his college teammate in Edmunds. But nobody should be happier about the Miller signing than Ed Oliver, who will receive less attention on the interior with Miller’s presence on the outside.

Bills’ offense is still potent, and we haven’t even gotten to the draft

Stefon Diggs is still one of the most complete pass catchers in the NFL. The Bills will need to figure out what they’re doing between free agent Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley, who has been granted permission to seek a trade. However, they still have playoff record-setter Gabriel Davis and also re-signed Isaiah McKenzie, who emerged while filling in for Beasley in the slot.

Buffalo should probably use the draft to address their offensive line, and it’s a strong class both at tackle and on the interior. Nobody in the backfield inspires a ton of confidence, but Devin Singletary is a sufficient back who could use a legitimate sidekick.

Oh, and they have that Josh Allen cat. He’s only 25, built like an outhouse, and practically carried the Bills through the air and on the ground late in the 2021 season. The crazy part is, he’s not a finished product as a passer — and he was still the MVP runner-up in 2020.

There will be excitement for the Bills heading into 2022, and it will be uncontainable. We should all just let it happen, and await the results.

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