Since being traded to the Bills before the 2013 season, Hughes has 20.0 sacks, five forced fumbles and one fumble returned for a touchdown. He just completed his five-year rookie deal after being a first-round pick by the Indianapolis Colts in 2010.
The 26-year-old free agent said he wants to return to Buffalo next season, but the team will have to pay him more than a hometown discount.
“I’ve never heard of that,” he said with a smile last week as players cleaned out their lockers.
Filled in on the concept – that a free agent may take less money to stay in a favorable situation with a team he likes – Hughes wasn’t biting.
“That’s a nice little deal to throw out there,” he said, “but yeah, I’ve never heard of a hometown discount in the business world.”
Hughes also said he would not have a problem with the team using the franchise tag on him. This season the franchise tag paid defensive ends more than $13.1 million.
Before joining the Bills, Hughes had just 5.0 sacks in three seasons with the Colts after being the No. 31 pick in the 2010 draft.
The Bills defense finished No. 4 in both yards and points allowed this season. They led the league with 54.0 sacks as a team as Mario Williams (14.5), Marcell Dareus (10.0) and Hughes (10.0) each reached double digits.
Buffalo finished 9-7 and head coach Doug Marrone opted out of his contract after the season ended.
- Paul Palladino