Bills expected to sign DT Star Lotulelei

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Star Lotulelei has earned a raise, but the defensive tackle be receiving it from the Buffalo Bills instead of his former team, the Carolina Panthers.

A person familiar with the situation confirmed to The Associated Press on Tuesday that the fifth-year player reached an agreement to sign a five-year contract with the Bills.

Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Bills have inked Lotulelei to a new five-year contract that will become official once the new league year begins on Wednesday and free agency officially opens.

If Lotulelei serves as the replacement for traded Marcell Dareus, Williams can continue in his role as an an underrated disruptor with at least five sacks in four of his past six seasons. Williams is unsigned and has also contemplated the possibility of retiring. He's listed at 6-foot-3 and 311 pounds and fills an immediate hole on Buffalo's defensive front.

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If he is able to do so, perhaps his 10-day contract might be extended to a full-year or even garner a hefty extension. With the Bucks, the rookie has appeared in 20 games, averaging 1.0 point and 0.5 rebounds in 3.4 minutes per game.

Lotulelei's play has fallen off in recent years, but the familiarity with Bills head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane - who were in Carolina when they drafted Lotulelei - clearly carried a lot of weight.

After the Bills' wild-card playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Williams said he would take time this offseason before deciding his playing future.

Lotulelei has been a reliable anchor along the trenches for the Panthers, starting all 16 games the last two seasons.

The Bills had created more than $15 million in salary-cap space in trading away QB Tyrod Taylor and left tackle Cordy Glenn in recent days.