Lorenzo Alexander has been asked to do almost everything you can imagine in his 10-year NFL career. The former undrafted college free agent out of Cal has been a stalwart on every special teams unit for the four NFL teams for whom he's played. He's been urged to bulk up to 315 pounds try to stick with teams as a run stuffer, and he's been instructed to slim down to 235 pounds to try to play with more speed on the edge.
He's been a football vagabond, an easily coachable, team-first, do-anything contributor, bopping around the league on a series of one-year, veteran-minimum deals, fighting to make rosters with his special teams acumen and his willingness to fill in at any number of positions in the front seven. And then 2016 happened. Alexander was signed to be a role player -- forever a bubble guy -- in Buffalo, on another minimum salary benefit contract, hoping to extend his career through his early-30s on guts and guile and football intellect. Instead, after a series of injuries to Bills linebackers, he became one of the premier players in Rex Ryan's defense, a pass-rushing dynamo whose shocking career turn had him leading the NFL in sacks much of the season and now has him poised to be one of the most interesting and intriguing free agents in a weak 2017 class.