Within the past calendar year, the Buffalo Bills have handed out significant contract extensions to three centerpiece players: defensive tackle Kyle Williams in August; quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in October; and receiver Stevie Johnson just two days ago. Let's take a closer look at those three deals:
- Williams agreed to a six-year, $39 million contract with $17 million guaranteed; Fitzpatrick signed a six-year, $59 million contract with $24 million guaranteed; and Johnson this week inked a five-year, $36.25 million deal with $19.5 million guaranteed.
- Of the $60.5 million in reported (and likely guesstimated) guarantees between the three players, $23.25 million were actual signing bonuses. That's money paid for three signatures.
- Each contract contains at least one season in which a player's base salary was (or will be) fully guaranteed. Those years count toward guaranteed figures, as well.
- The Bills, over the next several years, have the option of paying these three players a further $21.45 million in option, workout and roster bonuses. These sums count toward the aforementioned guaranteed figures, but are not actually guaranteed to the players unless injury situations change - and that's only in some cases.
GM Buddy Nix and the football hierarchy at One Bills Drive have handed out big deals of late, but in some respects they can also be considered frugal. This is important to note with more big contracts on the horizon.