Bills agree to terms with linebacker A.J. Klein

A.J. Klein
Photo credit Photo: Wesley Hitt - Getty Images

A slew of big signings and trades were reported throughout the day on Monday after the NFL’s "legal tampering period" opened.

The Buffalo Bills, however, weren’t reported to have made any moves until about 10 p.m. when NFL insider Adam Caplan tweeted that the team had come to terms with linebacker A.J. Klein on a three-year deal.

Former #Saints LB A.J. Klein agreed to terms with the #Bills, source said. 3 years, $18m. $9.7m fully guaranteed.HC Sean McDermott coached him when he was DC with the #Panthers.

— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) March 17, 2020

Klein, 28, came into the NFL as a fifth round pick out of Iowa State by the Carolina Panthers in 2013 when current Bills head coach Sean McDermott was the Panthers’ defensive coordinator. Through four years in Carolina, Klein was used in different roles on defense, playing both inside and outside linebacker, including filling in for All-Pro player Luke Kuechly when he was out. He was also a core special teams player for the Panthers.  

Klein signed with the New Orleans Saints as an unrestricted free agent in 2017 and started 42 games over three years there. Last year, Klein recorded 69 total tackles and 2.5 sacks, collecting 10.5 sacks and three interceptions for his career.

He’s considered a smart and instinctual linebacker. McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane really value portion flexibility, which Klein has, and value a player who is able to play all three linebacker spots, as well as special teams. 

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