National Football League free agency: Star Lotulelei will sign with Buffalo Bills

Star Lotulelei

Buffalo Bills, DT Star Lotulelei agree to five-year deal

The Bills' depth at defensive tackle, among other positions, appeared to be severly lacking.

Set to turn 35 in June, the defensive tackle has been the unquestioned heart and soul of the team, as the Bills successfully ended the franchise's 17-year playoff drought.

Williams is signing a one-year deal to return to Buffalo for a 13th season, his agent confirmed on Twitter Tuesday.

Lotulelei, 28, expressed confidence at the end of the last season that he can still play at a high level. The Bills also have a big need at defensive tackle after trading Marcell Dareus last season and the pending unrestricted free agency of veteran Kyle Williams. He has been named to five Pro Bowls and started 162 of the 167 games in Buffalo, where he frequently was voted as a team captain.

Lotulelei was drafted by the Panthers in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft when both Bills coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane were employed by the Panthers. Meanwhile, Short, a 2013 second-round pick, accumulated 24.5 sacks over the past three seasons and parlayed that into a five-year, $80.5 million extension before last season. ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first to report Lotulelei's pending agreement.

Lotulelei has forced two fumbles and has 11 1/2 sacks in 76 career games, and was named to the National Football League all-rookie team in 2013.

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