Report: Buffalo Bills to sign DT Star Lotulelei when free agency opens

The Buffalo Bills are on the free agency scoreboard.

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According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Bills have come to terms on a five-year deal with defensive tackle Star Lotulelei.

Lotulelei, 28, has very obvious connections with the Bills. He was a first-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2013. Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane was Carolina’s assistant prior to joining the Bills last summer.

Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott was the only defensive coordinator Lotulelei knew in his NFL career, prior to last season when McDermott left the Panthers to become the head coach of the Bills.

As Lotulelei’s name suggests, he was a star in his rookie season, notching three sacks, 42 tackles, and 6.5 stuffs. In the four years since, Lotulelei’s game has slipped as his numbers failed to reach those numbers since, expect in 2016 when he had four sacks.

Regardless of any dip, the addition of Lotulelei will help the Bills in a big way. Kyle Williams, a 13-year vet, has yet to decide if he’s returning to the team for another season. Williams and Lotulelei would shore up a weak defensive front with only Adolphus Washington there. The Bills could still address the position at the 2018 draft as well.

Lotulelei is known for getting off a snap well and stopping the run as opposed to getting to the passer. Buffalo’s defense ranked 29th against the run in 2017.

Pro Football Focus did not give high praise to Lotulelei in recent years though, giving him a 49.1 overall grade in 2017 and ranking him the 109th-best interior defensive lineman in the NFL.


Panthers DT Star Lotulelei — USA Today photo


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