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Projecting a new contract for Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams

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If the Bills and the veteran want to give it another go, here’s what the contract could look like.

In 2015, Kyle Williams signed a contract extension with the Buffalo Bills that took him through the 2017 season. With that contract expiring, and the defensive tackle still playing at a high level, the Bills should look to bring back the veteran (if he wants to return at age 35) but the contract aspect is likely to be tricky.

Previous contract

Williams made $6.3 million in salary in 2017 plus a $500,000 roster bonus for a total of $6.8 million in new money handed out last season. When he signed the contract, it essentially amounted to a three-year, $22.3 million deal at age 32 to last through his age-34 season.

Average salary: $7,433,333
2015 cap: $5.45 million
2016 cap: $6.25 million
2017 cap: $8.3 million

Comparables

There aren’t many comparable contracts to discuss. Most players aren’t playing at a high level that late in their careers so it skews the data.

New England Patriots’ tackle Alan Branch signed a two-year, $8.45 million deal to play at age 32 in 2016 but has never made a Pro Bowl nor had the impact of Williams. The ChargersBrandon Mebane signed a three-year deal when he was 31 that’s worth $13.5 million. None of those average yearly salaries are close to Williams’ most recent contract.

Looking a little further in the rear-view, the Houston Texans gave Vince Wilfork a two-year, $9 million contract when he was 33 and wearing down back in 2015, so there is some precedent for a pay cut late in a great career.

Salary Cap Considerations

Buffalo has less than $21 million in available cap space for 2018 factoring in projected rookie contracts, squeezing their ability to devote big money to free agents.

To give Buffalo cap flexibility, you would think it would need to be a multi-year deal to get some of the money beyond Marcell Dareus’ $14 million dead cap hit in 2018. Buffalo could get creative in the financial placement and keep his cost low.

Contract Projection

Two years, $13 million including a $5 million signing bonus

2018
Salary: $2 million salary
Pro-rated bonus money: $2.5 million
Cap hit: $4.5 million

2019
Salary: $6 million
Pro-rated bonus money: $2.5 million
Cap hit: $8.5 million ($2.5 million dead cap if he retires)

Pros for Kyle: Gives him $7 million in first year of deal, allows him to decide his own fate in 2019 without a roster bonus from Buffalo
Pros for Bills: Relatively low cap hit in 2018, they keep Kyle Williams

Buffalo could even add a voidable year onto the end of the deal to spread out signing bonus money further into the future as they did with Tyrod Taylor.

Poll

Would you sign Kyle Williams to a two-year, $13 million contract?

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Yes
    (1561 votes)
  • 20%
    No
    (406 votes)
1967 votes total Vote Now