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Jordan Phillips contract numbers: Buffalo Bills shell out good money for free-agent defensive tackle

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Buffalo stepped up and paid Jordan Phillips.

Original article: March 5

The Buffalo Bills lost defensive tackle Kyle Williams to retirement this season. They didn’t allow their other free-agent defensive tackle to make it to free agency, officially signing Jordan Phillips to a one-year contract extension on Tuesday, the team announced.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Tuesday that the deal is for $4.5 million.

As we have noted multiple times recently, the first value reported is often the maximum a deal could be worth since it’s the agent leaking the details and trying to show how large the numbers are.

We still don’t know what the signing bonus, workout bonus, salary, and incentive breakdowns will be but we will update the post when we get that information.

A month ago we predicted a one-year deal worth just under $2 million. Without knowing the specifics, it would seem the Bills value Phillips more than that.

Phillips joins a defensive tackle rotation heavy on 1-techniques with big-time free agent Star Lotulelei and 2018 third-round pick Harrison Phillips. Jordan Phillips will also see time as a lane clogger, and Buffalo still needs to add a penetrating defensive tackle to replace Williams and complement the space eaters.

Update: March 7

ESPN’s Mike Rodak has the full contract details and it’s a big show of confidence in Phillips. He receives a $2 million signing bonus, $250,000 in workout bonus, and $2.25 million in salary in 2019. If he’s released before the season, his dead cap number will be $2.25 million, assuming he earns the workout bonus.

Prior to free agency opening, his $4.5 million cap hit stands 21st in the NFL among all defensive tackles, a vote of confidence for someone who was released by the team that drafted him halfway through 2018. (The cap hit would have ranked 23rd in 2018.)

It stands to reason based on the contract breakdown that Buffalo expects him to move from depth rotational piece to starter-level rotational playing time in 2019. He averaged about one-third of the Bills’ defensive snaps in games he was with Buffalo last season while Kyle Williams was near two-thirds.