Every NFL team has contracts they wish they could ditch or players they hoped would live up to the big money handed them in free agency. Most of the time, that's not how it worked. Several Buffalo Bills provided a low return on their investment during the 2016 season.
The numbers we use have been calculated and assembled by Spotrac.com, and is the player's total salary cap figure for 2016. That includes prorated portions of signing bonuses, salary, and any other bonuses paid to give the most complete picture of total payments.
Number 5 - WR Percy Harvin
($1 million cap hit plus $2 million dead cap hit)
Normally I don’t include injured players on this list or players with a dead cap hit because that applies to a lot of guys and neither of those things are that guy’s fault. Harvin’s appearance shows how rare it is for a guy to have a dead cap hit and be on the team at the same time.
Harvin’s dead cap hit comes from the deal he signed in 2015. In what amounted to a one-year deal, Buffalo added some bogus years on the end to spread out his cap hit. They knew he was going to have a $2 million dead cap hit in 2016 after his strange retirement/injury/walking away episode in 2015.
Then the Bills needed receiver help during the season. Their top five receivers from training camp were out or hobbled and Harvin could step in and take off some of the heat and he did. He really did. Harvin bridged the gap, playing in two games plus the team’s bye week to get guys back healthy. He may have only had two receptions for six yards, but he ran routes and occupied defenders over the top to keep the underneath portions of the field open.
When migraines sidelined him for the rest of the season, it wasn’t his fault and he had done what he came to do. Robert Woods was back in the lineup with Sammy Watkins on his way. Still, two catches for a combined $3 million cap hit isn’t a great value. I want to be clear; I think this move was a successful one for the situation Buffalo was in at that moment. They were in a tough spot and responded as best they could signing a veteran, it just didn’t work out.