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Bills moving Kiko Alonso to OLB

The "Legend of Kiko" will continue ... elsewhere.

Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso, who played every snap at middle linebacker last season, will move to outside linebacker under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, general manager Doug Whaley said Friday.

"That right now is the plan," Whaley told WGR 550. "We're going to move him outside. Have Keith Rivers on the other outside [spot]."

Alonso finished second in voting for the Associated Press' defensive rookie of the year award last season. His 159 tackles were third in the NFL, while he added four interceptions, two sacks and one forced fumble.

The Bills believe moving Alonso, presumably to the weak-side, will free him up to make more plays.

"We think with his athletic ability, his speed, and his instincts, why limit him by having to take on those big guards? Let's cover him up and let him run and hit," Whaley said.

Whaley said Rivers, who the Bills signed Wednesday, will compete for a starting job at the other outside linebacker spot. He started eight games for the New York Giants last season but they weren't expected to bring him back.

Schwartz is expected to change the Bills' scheme to a more traditional, 4-3 look. That means Manny Lawson -- who started 15 games on the edge in Mike Pettine's "46" style defense last season -- doesn't have a well-defined role in the new system.

"I think he's going to be a hybrid player. He's going to be able to bring us something as an outside linebacker but also come off the edge as a defensive end," Whaley said. "His versatility is going to be utilized within this system. That we think is going to be very valuable for us."

Lawson, who is entering the second year of a four-year deal, received a $500,000 roster bonus Thursday. He will count $3.1 million against the Bills' salary cap this season.

Where do the Bills turn at middle linebacker? Whaley said the team will consider options already on its roster, which are slim.

"We're going to have to field an inside backer. We have some guys on campus now that we're excited about and we're going to keep our eyes open for anybody else that is out there," Whaley said. "Ty Powell is a guy that we're excited about. We brought [him] in last year off the New York Giants' practice squad. He played on special teams. He came in and actually played in the defensive package during the season. We're excited about him and we believe he'll take that next step coming up this season."

Powell, a seventh-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 2013, played in five games as a reserve late last season.

The other possibility is Nigel Bradham, whose playing time dropped significantly last season and is probably better suited as a weak-side linebacker.