Bills' Edge Rusher Rotation raises questions heading into 2024 season

The Buffalo Bills are likely done making moves at defensive end this offseason, leaving the defense with a capable, but somewhat unproven, group of edge rushers.
Buffalo Bills linebacker Von Miller (40) fights through a block by Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive
Buffalo Bills linebacker Von Miller (40) fights through a block by Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive / Jamie Germano/Rochester Democrat and

It doesn't necessarily rise to the level of problematic, but there are multiple unanswered questions when it comes to the Buffalo Bills' edge rusher rotation.

One-year rental Leonard Floyd took his 10.5 sacks to San Francisco in free agency, leaving behind veteran Von Miller and 2021 first-round draft pick Greg Rousseau. Former second-rounder AJ Epenesa re-signed and the Bills added Casey Toohill, who totaled 5.0 sacks in 16 games for the Washington Commanders last year.

That four-man group has the potential to recreate the pass rush success Buffalo had in 2023, when the defense ranked third overall in sack percentage (9.78), but none of the four appear to be a guaranteed commodity at this point in time.

The 35-year-old Miller, who looked like a shadow of his former self while battling back into playing shape after an ACL tear, needs to show he still has something left in the tank. In 10.5 games prior to suffering the season-ending injury, Miller logged 8.0 sacks for the 2022 Bills. He was sackless, however, in 2023 and didn't really return to his pre-injury form until the postseason.

Rousseau has displayed the traits that made him a Round 1 selection, but he has not been noticeable enough on a consistent basis. Epenesa, who uses his length effectively in clogging passing lanes, has quietly registered 6.5 sacks each of the past two seasons. Still, there is room to improve for both young edge rushers.

Like Rousseau and Epenesa, Toohill is trending upward, but the 27-year-old lacks an established track record.

Still, the potential for an effective defensive ends' rotation is real, although it seemingly requires all four men to meet expectations — hardly a guarantee.

Maybe fifth-round draft pick Javon Solomon proves capable of contributing immediately. Maybe the Bills find a late cap-friendly free agent addition similar to what Floyd was last year.

Yes, the potential is there, but so are the questions.

Ralph Ventre