The Buffalo Bills protected themselves in the contract they gave Vontae Davis this offseason, building in several per-game roster bonuses so the veteran only saw the full contract amount if he played in all 16 games. After his abrupt retirement Sunday, that’s not the only money Buffalo will be able to go after.
According to former agent Joel Corry, Davis’s retirement voids nearly all the guarantees on his contract. He’ll get paid 15/17ths of what was supposed to be his fully guaranteed 2018 salary but Buffalo will keep the rest.
“Bills will get $2,282,169 of salary cap relief from Vontae Davis’ retirement,” noted Corry in a later tweet. “That’s $1,985,294 from not paying 15/17ths of his $2.25M base salary as well as $109,375 & $187,500 from his 53-man & 46-man roster bonuses.”
If Buffalo wants part of Davis’s $1.5 million signing bonus, they should be able to go after a chunk of that, too. Typically speaking, teams don’t often do that. It’s seen as classless. In these circumstances, the Bills would be completely justified, though. In fact, most Bills players would probably feel annoyed if they didn’t try and recoup that bonus money.
So all told, Buffalo should see in excess of $3 million in cap relief because of Vontae Davis’s mid-game retirement.
Davis was scheduled to count $4.3 million against Buffalo’s cap in 2018, but that number will be much closer to $1 million by the time it’s all said and done.