With just a couple weeks left before the 2018 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills have continued signing free agents adding two more defenders over the last week and hosting a trio of linebackers over the last two weeks.
Buffalo’s last three signings have all been for the veteran minimum and looking at the available free agents still out there, most are likely to wait until after the draft for the second wave of free agency of teams trying to plug holes they missed with rookies. With teams hunkering down for pre-draft visits and tweaking their draft boards, it’s time to reexamine the salary cap number.
Buffalo’s adjusted salary cap is $177.2 million plus the $11.58 million they rolled over from 2017, for a grand total of $188.78 million.
Their contracts total $146.33 million but only the top 51 contracts, $137 million, count toward the salary cap in the offseason. Buffalo has a massive $35.97 million in dead money already paid to players like Marcell Dareus, Cordy Glenn, and Tyrod Taylor that needs to be accounted for. They also need to keep $9.766 million to pay their rookies, though a good chunk of that will be offset by players leaving the top 51 contracts after being supplanted by higher-paid rookies. The draft will only add about $4.5 million to the cap after dropping off the bottom seven players currently on the roster.
After adding it all up, Buffalo has $11.31 million to work with right now. That’s less than what they rolled over from 2017 to 2018. If they sign a guy for the veteran minimum, it will bump off another guy at the veteran minimum so as long as they don’t pay out a really large contract, this number won’t change much. Of course, this could all change if the Bills trade away some of their draft capital to move up into the top 10.
NFL salary cap: $177.2 million
2017 rollover: $11.58 million
2018 Adjusted Salary Cap: $188.78 million
All player contracts: $146.33 million
Top-51 contracts: $137 million
Dead cap space: $35.97 million
Draft pool: $9.766 million
Top-51 including draft pool: $141.5 million
Total Salary Cap Number (Top-51 + Draft + Dead Cap): $177.47 million
Buffalo Bills current workable cap space: $11.31 million