The chances of Lorenzo Alexander returning to the Buffalo Bills next season have become more of a challenge, after his MVP performance in Sunday’s Pro Bowl.
Lorenzo Alexander put a rubber-stamp on the best season of his professional career, after being named co-MVP of the 2017 Pro Bowl. In the process, the odds arguably lengthened on him being back with the Buffalo Bills next season.
Alexander’s outstanding performance in the AFC’s 20-13 win over the NFC, included a team-leading eight tackles and two pass deflections. He also produced the hit of the night on Seattle Seahawks‘ tight end Jimmy Graham, who was not too happy:
However, the linebacker’s biggest contribution came just two plays later, when he essentially sealed the victory with an interception of Kirk Cousins. Ironically, the pick came as a result of Cousins’ pass deflecting off the hands of Graham.
And just in case that wasn’t enough drama, Alexander added to it by refusing to just go to ground. After returning the ball 20-yards, he lateraled it to Aqib Talib, who was eventually chased down inside the NFC 10-yard line after a Don Beebe-esque effort by Cousins.
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Even before the game, the chances of the Oakland, California native returning to Buffalo were already in question, due to a couple of factors. The first was a recent report suggesting he would not be a good fit in the 4-3 scheme likely to be deployed by new Bills’ head coach, Sean McDermott.
The second reason relates to how well Alexander played during the 2016 campaign. Starting all 16 games for the first time in the NFL, he set career-highs with 12.5 sacks, 64 total tackles, six pass defenses and three forced fumbles.
As a result, the 33-year old is expected to receive plenty of interest in free agency. His MVP performance in the Pro Bowl will only make teams more aware of what he could offer to them.
The only potential negatives against Alexander are his age and and the likelihood of him performing at a similar level next season. With these factors in mind, teams might not be inclined to offer him a long-term contract.
In respect of the Bills, it’s worth noting the former undrafted free agent has said he would love to return to Buffalo. He discussed the matter on Saturday, with Alex Marvez and Kirk Morrison on SiriusXM NFL Radio,
Alexander said: “It’s a great football city, a blue-collar town and family oriented. It’s right up my alley.”
Further, the organization has already reached out to the 2016 Second-team All-Pro. However, they cannot re-sign him until the beginning of free agency on March 9th, because he played this season on a minimum-salary contract.
From Alexander’s perspective, he’s going to takes his time contemplating what to do: “I’m waiting to see what all the offers are on the table.
“My wife and I will sit down and make the best decision for ourselves.” Whether that means returning to the Bills, remains to be seen.
Taking everything into account, what’s your position in respect of Alexander? Do you think he will return to Buffalo next season or play somewhere else, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments section.