ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — After adding a haul of players from other teams in free agency, the Buffalo Bills are rewarding one of their own.
The Bills signed top pass rusher Jerry Hughes to a two-year contract extension Tuesday that will keep the defensive end in Buffalo through 2021. Hughes' contract was set to expire after the upcoming season.
A person with direct knowledge of the contract told The Associated Press that Hughes will be guaranteed about $19 million, and could make as much as $23 million should he meet all the incentives. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Bills did not release the contract's value.
"It feels good to have an organization, an owner, a GM and a head coach that really believes in you and is really excited for me to be back here in this building with the team," Hughes said.
Hughes, 30, has come a long way in his time in Buffalo, going from discarded afterthought to premier pass rusher.
After being chosen 31st overall by the Indianapolis Colts in 2010, Hughes' first three years in the league with Indianapolis were a disappointment. He was traded to Buffalo in April 2013 for linebacker Kelvin Sheppard and immediately broke out in Buffalo, posting back-to-back 10-sack seasons.
Though Hughes has yet to match those sack totals over the past four seasons, he's been a consistent and dominant presence off the edge for Buffalo, drawing double teams and harassing opposing quarterbacks.
"Watching him develop off the field and then watching him trying to take his game to another level, I've enjoyed that," McDermott said. "We are excited about it."
With the Bills, Hughes has 42 sacks and 280 tackles from 2013-18. He has 47 sacks in his career.
"It's awesome. Jerry's one of the best guys in the locker room," quarterback Josh Allen said. "He's a leader for us. The intensity that he brings every day is through the roof. so I'm glad he got a deal done, glad we got him for a couple more years locked down. I think everybody in the locker room will say the same thing."
NOTES: For the first time in 42 years, the Bills have a player wearing O.J. Simpson's former No. 32. Running back Senorise Perry wore the jersey number at Buffalo's spring practices this week. Simpson, whose name remains on the Bills Wall of Fame, served nine years for armed robbery and assault after confronting two sports collectibles dealers at a Las Vegas casino hotel in September 2007. The Pro Football Hall of Famer was acquitted of two counts of murder in the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife and her friend Ron Goldman, but a civil court jury found him liable for wrongful death and ordered him to pay $33.5 million. ... Former Bills center Eric Wood was hired as the team's new radio analyst. He replaces former Bills safety Mark Kelso. Wood, a first-round pick of the Bills in 2009, spent nine years with the team before he was forced to retire due to a neck injury. "I'm excited to be back in Buffalo a whole lot more, excited to be affiliated with the team again," Wood said. "I'm really excited for the challenge that this is going to present to try and pursue something else and try and be great at something else."