Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane and coach Sean McDermott have reconstructed the team's roster over the past few years, and to date it's amounted to two playoff appearances in three seasons and plenty of young talent residing in Western New York.
Below, we will examine the Bills' roster to pinpoint the five players who present the biggest "value" for the franchise from a salary cap standpoint. We will be referencing Over The Cap for all cap numbers, using each player's 2020 cap hit.
1. CB Tre'Davious White
2020 salary cap hit: $3,210,884
The Bills traded back from the No. 10 spot in the 2017 draft, and the Chiefs used that selection on Patrick Mahomes. In the draft-day swap that's becoming more legendary each season, Buffalo picked White at No. 27 overall. And while Mahomes has transcended the quarterback position in Kansas City, the Bills landed an All-Pro cornerback in White in the deal.
White looked the part of a No. 1 cornerback from his rookie season, when he finished with 18 pass breakups and four interceptions, and after experiencing a slight regression in Year 2, he returned to form in 2019 with 17 defended passes, a league-high six picks and two forced fumbles.
The Bills predominantly play zone and White flourishes in that coverage, and he's shown the ability to lock down in man when needed. He's a fundamental piece of a Bills defense that finished 15th in 2017, second in 2018, and sixth last season in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA.
2. OT Dion Dawkins
2020 salary cap hit: $1,331,029
Arguably the most underrated player on the Bills' roster, Dawkins has steadily improved from a solid but at times leaky rookie season in 2017 in Western New York and took a leap in consistency in his third NFL season, emerging as one of the better young pass blockers in football.
His run-blocking effectiveness has been spotty, but as a fine athlete at the position, Dawkins is comfortable getting out in space and paving lanes at the second level. Also important: after appearing in 11 games as a rookie, the former second-round pick from Temple has started 16 games in back-to-back regular seasons in Buffalo.
3. RB Devin Singletary
2020 salary cap hit: $933,956
"Motor" started his debut NFL season behind veteran Frank Gore, but on his first 20 carries across the first four games in 2019, Singletary averaged a massive 8.6 yards per rush, and he snagged nine passes for 58 yards and a score.
Beginning in November, when he assumed "starter" duties and received at least 10 touches in each game, Singletary still averaged 4.6 yards per tote (on 131 carries) and caught 20 passes for 136 yards with another receiving touchdown.
In Buffalo's playoff loss in Houston, the third-round rookie from Florida Atlantic accumulated 134 yards from scrimmage (58 on the ground, 76 through the air). Given his small stature and lack of long speed, Singletary's game is predicated on immense elusiveness and freaky contact balance.
Per Pro Football Reference, Singletary had the fifth-best attempts-per-broken-tackle rate (7.6) in the NFL last season out of 47 qualifiers.
4. LB Matt Milano
2020 salary cap: $2,309,572
Milano is one of the most underrated defenders in all of football. He was a fifth-round pick in 2017 and has been a dynamic playmaker in Buffalo in all three of his NFL seasons to date. As a rookie, Milano on just 40.6% of the team's snaps had an interception, a forced fumble, two pass breakups, 49 tackles, and seven tackles for loss. In 2018 next to Tremaine Edmunds, Milano's playing time jumped to 73% of the defensive snaps, and his production jumped too.
He snagged three picks, defended seven passes, forced three fumbles and registered 12 tackles for loss with 78 total takedowns. Last season, Milano's no-hesitation game and coverage brilliance led to more responsibilities -- 86.2% of the snaps -- and stat-sheet filling play. He made 101 tackles, had seven tackles for loss and broke up nine passes. He's exactly the type of linebacker perfectly suited to thrive in today's NFL: small, lightning-quick, and comfortable running with backs and tight ends in coverage. Missed tackles are at times an issue with Milano, but he's everywhere.
5. LB Tremaine Edmunds
2020 salary cap hit: $3,452,603
Edmunds is a unique cat. He's impossibly young and colossal for the linebacker position, standing just under 6-foot-5 at 250-plus pounds, and he'll be 22 for the entirety of his third NFL season. There were high-end flashes during his rookie season in 2018 but plenty of growing pains. He struggled wrapping up and wasn't always efficient dispatching blockers at the second level.
Yet his rare talent was impossible to ignore, as Edmunds broke up 12 passes and intercepted two throws while making 121 total tackles, five of which were behind the line of scrimmage.
His consistency improved in his second season, and he continued to flourish in coverage with nine pass breakups and an interception. Edmunds also upped his tackle-for-loss total to 10. If he takes another step in Year 3, he'll be universally considered one of the elite young linebackers in football.