The Buffalo Bills have been wheeling and dealing over the last week, trading two big names (and contracts) while signing a couple big contracts, too. They’ve also renegotiated a deal with a core member of their offensive line. Let’s reset their cap space as of Monday morning.
Before free agency began, Buffalo swung two trades to clear considerable cap space. First, they shipped quarterback Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a third round selection. Then they sent Cordy Glenn to the CIncinnati Bengals to move up from 21 to 12 in the draft.
QB Tyrod Taylor: $10.44 million saved in 2018
OT Cordy Glenn: $4.85 million saved in 2018
Total: $15.29 million saved in 2018
After clearing their cap space, Buffalo signed one massive deal and two big deals with three defensive linemen. They added a small quarterback contract and some depth options, as well, in addition to the starting cornerback they signed before free agency began.
DT Star Lotulelei: $6.7 million cap hit in 2018
DT Kyle Williams: At most $6 million cap hit in 2018
DE Trent Murphy: $4.475 million cap hit in 2018
CB Vontae Davis: $4.3 million cap hit in 2018
QB AJ McCarron: $3 million cap hit in 2018
RB Chris Ivory: $2.44 million cap hit in 2018
S Rafael Bush: $1.7 million cap hit in 2018
LB Julian Stanford: $1.475 million cap hit in 2018
RB Travaris Cadet: estimated $710,000 cap hit in 2018 (veteran minimum)
RB Taiwan Jones: estimated $710,000 cap hit in 2018 (veteran minimum)
DE Owa Odighizuwa: estimated $710,000 cap hit in 2018 (veteran minimum)
TE Nick O’Leary: $630,000 ERFA tender
CB Lafayette Pitts: $630,000 ERFA tender
TE Logan Thomas: $630,000 ERFA tender
DE Eddie Yarbrough: $555,000 ERFA tender
Total: $34.665 million added in 2018
There is one giant hole in this accounting and that’s Richie Incognito. It was reported last week that Incognito restructured his deal to give Buffalo some cap space. With only one year left on this deal, that’s another way of saying Incognito took a pay cut. If they took some salary and made it incentive-based, such as playing time or Pro Bowls, it wouldn’t change his cap hit since he played virtually every snap and made the Pro Bowl in 2017. We still don’t have those numbers yet, but they won’t add anything to Buffalo cap, only subtract.
If Buffalo matched his 2018 salary to his 2017 salary, it would drop his compensation and cap hit by more than $3 million. For now, we have to wait and see as there is really no way to predict it.
It’s important to note that these numbers are not final. The contracts for Kyle Williams, Incognito, and a few of the lower-level signings have not made their way into the public eye yet but this gives us a rough outline.
With all the players currently on their roster accounted for, Buffalo has about $13.14 million in cap space with the top-51 cap space being around $15.915 million. When you take into account the rookie draft pool will cost an additional $8 million in top-51 cap space, Buffalo is down to roughly $8 million in usable salary cap space right now BEFORE you take the Incognito restructure into account.
Bills usable cap space: roughly $8 million (not including Incognito restructure)