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Bills Re-Signing DE A.J. Epenesa, Contract Details Revealed

The Buffalo Bills brought back two of their defensive departures on the opening day of the legal tampering period, including defensive end A.J. Epenesa. How much is his deal?

The Buffalo Bills did some damage control on the opening day of the legal tampering period, ensuring some of their recently departed defenders returned to Western New York.

In bringing back defensive end A.J. Epenesa and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, the Bills brought back perhaps their two best free agents. Jones, while hurt for much of 2023, was playing at an elite level and Epenesa’s knack for the football continued to show up in big moments.

While general manager Brandon Beane continues to search the discount rack of free agency, details on Epenesa’s contract emerged.

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The base contract is a two-year deal worth $12 million, $10.6 million of which is guaranteed.

Epenesa’s contract also includes a $4 million signing bonus, spread over two void years, per Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic. This renders his cap hits at $3.96 million and $6 million in the next two seasons, respectively.

Additionally, his deal includes $4.05 million in incentives for playing time and sacks.

If this seems below-market rate and a bit underwhelming, that’s because it is – Pro Football Focus projected Epenesa to receive a three-year deal worth $22.5 million ($14.5 million guaranteed). It has been a fairly robust edge market, too, with teams happy to splurge on pass rushing in the early goings of the offseason.

Epenesa was only a part-time contributor for Buffalo last season but stepped up when the defense found itself beleaguered with injuries. He played an outsized role in the pass rush, generating 6.5 sacks for the second year in a row.

He would end the season with 29 pressures, the fourth-most on the team, along with a forced fumble and two interceptions.

Epenesa has a knack for finding the football and coming up in big moments, including an interception against Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the Bills’ regular-season win.

He’ll likely play a key role in Buffalo’s depth as it attempts to get younger and cheaper throughout this offseason.