BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Bills made a move for now and for the future, locking All-Pro linebacker Matt Milano with a two-year contract extension through the 2026 season, the team announced Sunday.
A source told ESPN that the extension is worth $14 million per year.
Sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the move helped Buffalo create about $6 million in cap space. The team raked in more than $19 million over the 2023 cap over the weekend. ESPN’s Field Yates reported that defensive tackle Tim Settle’s contract was restructured to open up $600,000 in space, with more restructuring and moves to come.
Milano, 28, was previously under contract through the 2024 season on a four-year, $24 million guaranteed extension that was signed just before the linebacker reached free agency in 2021.
Injuries were a past concern with Milano, who missed a career-high six games in 2020. For the past two seasons, Milano has missed just one game each year with minor injuries.
Selected by the Bills in the fifth round of the 2017 draft out of Boston College, Milano started 69 games and played in 85 in his career.
This latest deal keeps Milano with Buffalo amid uncertainty over the long-term other linebacker position, 24-year-old Tremaine Edmonds, who has been with the Bills all five years of his career, a free agent when the league year begins on Wednesday. Ready to be. , Edmonds and Milano combined for a strong linebacker duo on a defense that has led the NFL in yards allowed per play since 2018 (4.98).
Milano’s extension may raise doubts about whether the Bills will be able to invest more money with Edmonds at the linebacker position, but the move creates cap space. Buffalo’s defense could look vastly different in 2023 with safety Jordan Poyer, who has been with the team since 2017, expected to find free agency.
Milano is certainly coming off the strongest season of his career in 2022 with 3 interceptions, 99 tackles and 2 fumble recoveries. His 99 tackles were second most in a season and three interceptions tied a career high. Milano also had a career-high 11 passes defended and led the Bills with 12 tackles for loss.
He was named first-team All-Pro and was selected to Pro Bowl games for the first time in his career.