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Buffalo Bills salary cap 2014: defense breakdown

How are the Buffalo Bills spending their money on defense? Here's a hint: on Mario Williams.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor
Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

As the Buffalo Bills enter the 2014 offseason, their roster is full of players who won't be with the team this fall. Let's take a look at how the Bills are currently constructed in relation to the projected $126.3 million salary cap, and where they might make adjustments.

Outside Linebacker - $26.39 million (20.9 percent of cap)

Mario Williams. The highest-paid player on the team will make more than every other position group in 2014 with a hefty $10.6 million roster bonus on top of his amortized signing bonus and base salary. Outside of Williams, Jerry Hughes will get a sizable pay bump in 2014, too. There won't be any movement here unless Buffalo renegotiates with Williams to put off some of his cap hit by changing that roster bonus to a signing bonus.

Defensive Line - $17.005 million (13.5 percent of cap)

With two studs on the defensive line, the Bills pay for front line talent. It's unlikely anything will change drastically on the defensive line between now and the beginning of the season, unless the team decides to give Marcell Dareus a contract extension. If they give him the one-year team option, his 2014 cap number won't change.

Cornerback - $8.618 million (6.8 percent of cap)

Leodis McKelvin and Stephon Gilmore make up the majority of this figure. If Buffalo adds a player at cornerback, they'll likely be subtracting someone else. Without any danger of major turnover, this number should remain stable this offseason.

Safety - $3.954 million (2.8 percent of cap)

A potential $8.3 million franchise tag for Jairus Byrd in 2014 will double this number by itself should the Bills decide to use it. Adding Byrd or another starter will definitely raise the cap figure this offseason. The only question is if it's a short-tern or long-tern solution.

Inside Linebacker - $2.158 million (1.7 percent of cap)

With two players on rookie contracts and another at league minimum, it's a pretty cheap group, but also one where you can expect at least one major addition this offseason. As constituted, it's the cheapest position group on the team, just under the special teams' $2.163 million.

At $53.125 million and 42 percent of the cap, the cost of the defense outweighs the offense. With holes at linebacker and safety, the Bills might not be done spending here, either. With special teams counting for just $2.163 million, the Bills will have plenty of cap space to fill their holes.