Buffalo Bills: Will Preston Brown return next season?

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Preston Brown
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Preston Brown /

Preston Brown has indicated a desire to stay in Western New York, but how much will the Buffalo Bills be prepared to pay the NFL’s joint-leading tackler from 2017?

Right from the word go, Preston Brown made an impact with the Buffalo Bills. He recovered a fumble and returned it 27 yards in his first ever game and finished his rookie season as the team’s leading tackler.

Since then, Brown has been one of the most reliable and durable players for the Bills. He has never missed a game in his four seasons in the NFL and started all but two of them.

Last season was arguably the 25-year-old’s best yet. He tied for the league lead in tackles and helped the Bills end the longest playoff drought in the NFL.

Brown couldn’t have timed it any better in terms of showcasing his talents, as he prepares to become an unrestricted free agent in March. The question is, where will he go?

As far as the 2014 third round draft pick is concerned, he would actually prefer to stay where he is. Speaking recently to ESPN’s Mike Rodak, he said:

"“In the exit meeting (after Buffalo’s playoff loss to Jacksonville), coach made it sound like they wanted me back. He said some things that sounded like that. But you never know what’s going to happen during free agency. I would love to go back to Buffalo. That’s the No. 1 choice for me.”"

Of course, the key part of Brown’s comments relate to never knowing what could happen in free agency; essentially, money talks. In that respect, Rotoworld believe he will be looking for more than $6 million per season.

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For what it’s worth (no pun intended), the Bills seem prepared to at least attempt to negotiate a new deal. As reported by NFL Trade Rumors, Brown said during an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio that the team has reached out to his agent.

Again though, the Cincinnati, Ohio native did add about how the NFL is a business, so it will be interesting to see if the Bills are prepared to get anywhere near the $6 million per season he apparently wants.

While the perception of Brown is that he is not a particularly spectacular/standout performer, he is athletic enough and extremely consistent at what he does. As noted by Rodak, he is second in the NFL in total tackles since entering the league in 2014, trailing Bobby Wagner by just 14.

The linebacker has also proved he has the versatility to play both on the inside and outside, while still being effective. We’ll obviously wait to see what happens, but the Bills would be smart to get him re-signed.

Next: Is Kirk Cousins a realistic target?

Would you re-sign Brown if it was your decision? More to the point, how much do you believe the Buffalo Bills should be prepared to offer to him? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.