Report: Bills Prefer Tre'Davious White Long-Term Contract over Franchise Tag

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2020

Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White (27) defends against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

After picking up the fifth-year option on Tre'Davious White, the Buffalo Bills reportedly want to sign the cornerback to a long-term deal.

"They can use the franchise tag to keep him under team control even longer than that. But they would prefer to lock up their best defensive player to a long-term deal at some point," Matthew Fairburn of The Athletic reported.

White is now under team control through 2021, but his next deal could allow him to seek a "market-setting contract." 

The 2017 first-round pick has been an impact player since his rookie year but he's coming off his best NFL season in 2019.

The cornerback tied for the NFL lead with six interceptions while adding two forced fumbles and 17 passes defended. He earned his first career Pro Bowl selection and was named first-team All-Pro on his way to anchoring the No. 2 scoring defense in the NFL.

The 25-year-old can parlay that into a monster contract, especially after Byron Jones signed a five-year, $82 million deal this year with the Miami Dolphins.

White will make $10.2 million in 2021 as part of his fifth-year option with Buffalo, although he has just a $3.2 million cap hit in 2020, per Spotrac.

A new deal could provide some financial security, although Fairburn noted the player could wait for others at the position to help grow the market.

Marlon Humphrey and Stephon Gilmore are also set to enter free agency after the 2021 season and could seek earlier extensions. Jalen Ramsey and Patrick Peterson are among the cornerbacks hitting the open market next offseason.

Franchise tags for cornerbacks were worth $16.3 million in 2020, per OverTheCap, but the Bills could go even higher to keep one of their most important players on the roster long term.