REPORT: Lotulelei to sign with Bills
Star Lotulelei is reportedly headed to New York to play for the Buffalo Bills.
The Carolina Panthers are losing another player. Star Lotulelei is set to sign a five-year deal with the Buffalo Bills once free agency opens per multiple reports. The news was first tweeted by ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Lotulelei has some connections to the Bills. The Panthers drafted him in the first round in 2013. Bills General Manager Brandon Beane was the assistant G.M. of the Panthers at the time. Furthermore, Bills head coach Sean McDermott was the Panthers defensive coordinator at the time. It is safe to say that there is a level of familiarity between the Bills and the defensive tackle.
Lotulelei had a great rookie season and showed flashes of explosiveness right out of the gate. 2013 was his best year of football. Starting in all 16 games, he recorded three sacks and 34 tackles. Although his tackle numbers have gone down consistently over the past couple of years, he still remains a pass-rushing threat.
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His season-high in sacks was four which he achieved in 2016.
This is a sizable loss for the Panthers. Although his production may have decreased over the past couple of years, he filled up space in the middle. Measuring in at 6-foot-3, 311 pounds, he was on the smaller side as far as defensive tackles go. Nevertheless, he proved himself to be a vital piece of the Panther defense.
Speaking just from a overall defensive perspective, this just adds to the fact that the Carolina Panthers defensive is undergoing changes. Although the defense will look the same for the most part in 2018, (with most notably the retirement of Thomas Davis following the season), the Carolina Panthers are appearing to want to get younger It will be interesting to see if they bring in another veteran or if someone else within the organization steps up.
Next: Norwell headed to Jaguars
The Carolina Panthers to this point in the offseason have lost more players than they have gained. With that in mind, do not be surprised if moves are made within the next couple of days.