Source: Bills tender offer to DE Eddie Yarbrough
Eddie Yarbrough was one of two things.
First, Yarbrough was a contributor for the Buffalo Bills in 2017.
Second, Yarbrough was an exclusive rights free agent.
Buffalo Football Beat has learned that the Bills have exercised that option which comes with the “exclusive rights” designation in Yarbrough’s expired contract. The defensive end will return to the Bills in 2018.
An “exclusive rights” free agent means that a player is only – kind of – a free agent. A player who falls under this category has two or fewer years of NFL experience and the team has the option of offering the player a vet-minimum tenure.
Once a player is offered the contract by the team, they have two options: sign it, or sit out the season. However, the team can simply not tenure the player and he’ll become a free agent on March 14. As prior mentioned, that offer was extended to Yarbrough by the Bills and he signed it.
Yarbrough appeared in all 16 games in 2017 with six starts, four of which came in the team’s final four games after Shaq Lawson suffered an ankle injury on a play at the goal line during Buffalo’s 23-3 loss to the New England Patriots at home on Dec. 3.
Yarbrough also started Buffalo’s playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. When filling in for Lawson, Yarbrough, 24, split time playing time with Ryan Davis. Of those five games, Yarbrough played a slightly-higher percentage of snaps than Davis in five of them, maxing out at 61 percent during Buffalo’s 13-7 blizzard win against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Bills frequently rotated all of their defensive linemen throughout the season.
In total, Yarbrough finished the year with 34 tackles, two passes defended and a sack on Carolina’s Cam Newton.
Along with Yarbrough, tight end Nick O’Leary, cornerback Lafayette Pitts, and tight end Logan Thomas are also exclusive rights free agents.
In completely unrelated notes to his contract and return to Buffalo next season, Yarbrough has had some deserved fun so far this offseason, centering around the hardwood.
On Wednesday, Yarbrough took some basketball at his alma mater, the University of Wyoming. He was introduced on the jumbotron during the women’s game.
Nice court-side seat, Eddie:
In other Yarbrough-basketball news, he was also on the court at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr., who attended Wyoming at the same time as Yarbrough, posted this photo on his Instagram page. The Cowboy-duo did a jersey exchange on the court:
Since the photo was snapped, Nance was traded from the Lakers to the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of the Cavs’ deadline-day overhaul.