Tremaine Edmunds is ready to move on to the next phase of his NFL career, but first he’s saying goodbye to the Buffalo Bills and their fans.
The Pro Bowl linebacker left the Bills to sign a four-year, $72 million deal with the Chicago Bears at the start of free agency. Edmunds, who had been a leader on Buffalo’s defense and play-caller on the field since his rookie season, shared an emotional message thanking the Bills and their fans for their support over the last five seasons.
Tremaine Edmunds Says Goodbye
Two days after news first broke that he was leaving the Bills for Chicago, Edmunds took to Instagram to share his appreciation for the team and its fans. The 24-year-old linebacker shared a pair of images from his tenure with the Bills, including him running onto the field prior to a Monday Night Football game against the Tennessee Titans and another showing him in a huddle with teammates.
“I am grateful to the Bills organization for giving me my first NFL opportunity and helping mold me into the player I am today,” Edmunds wrote in the post’s caption. “Buffalo is a special city that will always be close to me. I appreciate the fans, the coaches and the entire Buffalo community for embracing me and my family. Thank you for five amazing years.”
Edmunds notched more than 100 tackles in each of his five seasons with the Bills, amassing 565 total tackles during that time along with 6.5 sacks, five interceptions, two forced fumbles and a safety.
Tremaine Edmunds Hinted at Exit From Buffalo
Even before his departure became official, Edmunds had dropped hints that his days in Buffalo may have come to an end. Speaking with Fox Sports in the week before the Super Bowl, Edmunds said he was looking forward to exploring free agency and shared another message of thanks for the Bills that seemed to imply he was done with the team.
“I’m gonna let the process take shape,” Edmunds said. “You know what I mean? Like, you know, they’ve been good to me. So I definitely say thank you to the Bills for everything that they’ve done for me these last five years. But like I said, man, I’m just right now — I’m in the backseat.”
While he struck a reflective tone, Edmunds also seemed determined to prove that he’s one of the top linebackers in the NFL.
“I honestly like when people underestimate me, you know what I mean? Like it brings out the best in me,” Edmunds said. “That’s what keeps me going day in and day out because I always work to prove people wrong. So if somebody says I can’t do it, like I’m gonna do everything I can to make sure I prove this person wrong, because they’re gonna come back and circle back and be like, ‘You know what, I was wrong about you man.’ But that’s what keeps me going day in and day out.”
Edmunds’ new contract from the Bears contains $50 million in guaranteed money and an average annual value of $18 million, which makes him one of the highest-paid linebackers in the NFL.