The Buffalo Bills have a decent amount of cap space, even if they keep Tyrod Taylor, but could still create some more to re-sign several key free agents and improve the team for Sean McDermott’s first year. While we don’t think a Taylor restructure is in the cards, here are a few that could happen pretty easily.
Marcell Dareus ($16.4 million cap hit)
Dareus’ salary jumps big-time in 2016, from $6 million to almost $10 million in 2017. If Buffalo wanted to lower his $16.4 million cap hit, an easy way would be converting that salary to signing bonus to kick the can down the road. With five years remaining on his contract, they could spread out a big chunk of that cap hit.
If Buffalo took $9 million of his salary and converted it to a signing bonus, it would reduce his 2017 cap number by $7.2 million after pro-rating it over the life of the contract. (And don’t worry, if he’s suspended, Buffalo would get that money back.)
Potential savings: $7.2 million
Cordy Glenn ($14.4 million cap hit)
Glenn is a young player with a big contract and since he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, worrying about his dead cap number isn’t a big concern. He has a $9 million base salary and a $2 million roster bonus coming due soon to make up the majority of his 2016 cap hit.
By taking $8 million of his salary and $2 million from his roster bonus and converting it to a signing bonus, they would lower his cap hit by $7.5 million by spreading out that $10 million over the final four years of his contract. It would pretty much guarantee Glenn stay on the roster until at least 2020, and by then the 30-year-old tackle will be looking for another deal as he enters the final year of his contract.
Potential savings: $7.5 million
No other players really fit into the criteria needed for a restructure of this magnitude. LeSean McCoy ($8.875 million cap hit) is too old for Buffalo to commit any more dead money down the road and he’s under contract for three more years. Charles Clay ($9 million) and Jerry Hughes ($10.4 million) have already restructured deals with steady cap hits for the next three seasons. Aaron Williams’ ($6.6 million) future is too up in the air for anything like this, as a retirement from injury would force a huge immediate cap hit. Older players players with one year left on their deals like Kyle Williams ($8.3 million) and Corey Graham ($5.4 million) also wouldn’t qualify.
While Eric Wood ($7.6 million) couldn’t restructure his contract because he only has one year remaining, a contract extension for the 30-year-old center could bring down his 2017 cap number. This is certainly a possibility this offseason.