BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP)The Buffalo Bills agreed to sign starting linebacker Matt Milano to a two-year contract extension on Sunday, a move that frees up $6 million in salary cap space before the NFL’s signing period opens this week.

The Bills announced the signing, but a person familiar with the contract details confirmed the salary cap savings amount to The Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Bills did not publicly reveal that information, which was first reported by ESPN.com.

The extension locks up a six-year starter – who is coming off his first All-Pro season – through 2026, and just as importantly helps ease the Bills’ immediate payroll restrictions. Buffalo is still projected to be about $11 million over the cap, leaving general manager Brandon Beane more work to do before he can begin filling several anticipated roster holes for the three-time AFC East defending champions.

Buffalo is already challenged to re-sign two key returning starters, middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and safety Jordan Poyer, who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on Wednesday.

Milano was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 draft out of Boston College and eventually established himself as a starter during his rookie season. He and Edmunds, drafted a year later, formed a three-down linebacking tandem that helped the Bills finish third or better in the NFL in fewest yards allowed three times in the past five years.

Capable in both run- and pass-defending situations, Milano has eight career interceptions and his 27 tackles for a loss over the past two seasons are tied for third among NFL players over that span.

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