The Buffalo Bills head into the 2018 NFL season with $31.6 million in salary cap space, according to Spotrac. By releasing their highest paid defensive player, defensive end Jerry Hughes, the team could add more money to that figure.
If the Bills were to cut ties with Hughes, the team would save a total of $4.6 million. If the Bills were to designate him as a post-June 1 release, that cap savings increases to $7.5 million for the 2018 season (but spreads the cap hit down the line).
While it may seem counterproductive to open up a hole on the defensive line when there are already so many to fill, Hughes’s production has not matched his contract. In his first two seasons with the Bills, Hughes combined for 68 tackles and notched 20 sacks, reaching exactly 10 in each season. Since signing a 5-year contract worth $45 million, Hughes has managed 96 tackles and 15 sacks in three seasons.
If the Bills were to release Hughes before his $1 million roster bonus comes due on the fifth day of the league year, their cap space moves to $36.2 million at a minimum.
2018 cap hit: $10.4 million
Roster bonus due: $1 million
Salary due: $6.35 million
Dead money: $5.8 million
Cap savings: $4.6 million ($7.5 million post-June 1)
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- Where did the Bills’ pass rush go in 2017?