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Trent Murphy contract details: Buffalo Bills protect themselves with free agent contract

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The Bills protected themselves with Murphy in a way they didn’t with Star Lotulelei.

Contract numbers are in for the Buffalo Bills’ contract with Trent Murphy and the team did a good job balancing risk and keeping his first-year cap hit low in the structure of the salary. Both Over The Cap and Spotrac have the contract, but I can’t seem to find who first reported the number so I’ll credit both of them.

Murphy’s three-year deal carries a total value of $22.5 million, giving him the sixth-highest per-year average salary on the team just behind Charles Clay. After Eric Wood’s retirement, he’ll move up one spot.

Murphy received a $5.25 million signing bonus and his $2.625 million salary in 2018 is also fully guaranteed, so his true guaranteed money is $7.875 million. If he’s on the roster on the fifth day of the 2019 league year, $2.5 million of his 2019 salary now guaranteed only for injury will become fully guaranteed.

In each of the final two years of the deal, Murphy is due a $500,000 roster bonus on the fifth day of the league year.

In 2018, Murphy can earn $500,000 for playing in all of the team’s 16 games at $31,250 per game. Since he didn’t play in any games in 2017 due to injury, that bonus will be classified Not Likely To Be Earned and won’t count on the cap until 2019.

His salary jumps to $5.725 million in 2019 and $6.1 million in 2020 but he’ll need to earn that in 2018. Buffalo can release him following the 2018 season having paid him $7.875 million for one season. His dead cap number would be $3.5 million but his cap savings in 2019 alone would be more than $5 million. The contract is structured like a one-year prove it deal with team options for each of the following two seasons. They can release him at any point after 2018 with minimal problems.

The salary cap hit is very manageable in 2018 when the Bills have less cap space but also not oppressive in 2019 and 2020. It’s a good deal for both sides; Murphy gets a good amount of money coming off a suspension and injury and Buffalo gets protection.

2018

Salary: $2.625 guaranteed
Pro-rated portion of signing bonus: $1.75 million
Pre-game roster bonus: $31,250 per game (Up to $500,000)
Workout bonus: $100,000
Cap hit: $4.475 million

2019

Salary: $5.725 million
Roster bonus: $500,000
Pro-rated portion of signing bonus: $1.75 million
Per-game roster bonus: $31,250 per game (Up to $500,000)
Workout bonus: $100,000
Cap hit: $8.075 million (Up to $8.575 million)

2020

Salary: $6.1 million
Roster bonus: $500,000
Pro-rated portion of signing bonus: $1.75 million
Per-game roster bonus: $31,250 per game (Up to $500,000)
Workout bonus: $100,000
Cap hit: $8.45 million (Up to $8.95 million)