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2020 NFL Free Agency: Contract projection for Quinton Spain

What could Spain command on the open market?

The Buffalo Bills signed guard Quinton Spain to a cheap one-year, $2 million contract later in the 2019 offseason. With another year under his belt as a starter and not giving up any sacks (as he likes to point out), it’s likely that number could be a bit higher.

With a potential massive contract coming to left tackle Dion Dawkins and one already in hand for center Mitch Morse, the Bills probably won’t want to sign Spain for overwhelming money to make their entire left side of the line well paid. (Couple that with the medium investment in Ty Nsekhe and a high draft pick in Cody Ford, and Buffalo is spending a lot on the o-line.)

Let’s take a look at some contract comparisons to see where we can get.

John Miller
Cincinnati Bengals
Signed a three-year, $16.5 million contract in 2019

Miller went from fringe starter to signing a contract as one of the top 40 guards in the NFL when he left Buffalo to sign with the Bengals last offseason. Combining his $4 million signing bonus and $2.9 million roster bonus, he made almost $7 million up front, as well, but that’s the only guaranteed money in the contract.

Miller started 19 games in the two seasons before signing his big deal. He was penalized seven times for 62 yards in that stretch and allowed one sack according to STATS.

Quinton Spain
Buffalo Bills
Signed a one-year, $2 million contract in 2019

Spain’s contract is pretty close to what I predicted Miller would sign for last year, so the Bills had the same number in mind for a free-agent guard. This year, Spain will most certainly want a raise from that figure.

In the last two seasons, Spain has started 31 of a possible 32 regular season games and has seven penalties for 65 yards. He’s allowed one sack according to STATS.

Jon Feliciano
Buffalo Bills
Signed a two-year, $7.25 million contract in 2019

Nearly $4 million of Feliciano’s deal was guaranteed because of his $1.5 million signing bonus and guaranteed 2019 salary. They also gave him pre-game active bonuses to ensure he received more money if he played. Prior to coming to Buffalo, Feliciano was just a spot starter and fill-in player with the Oakland Raiders but o-line coach Bobby Johnson, who came over from the Raiders, made him a priority. He started all 16 games for Buffalo in 2019 after 8 total starts in his first four years.

In the two seasons before signing his deal, Feliciano was a penalty machine with six flags in only five starts. He gave up zero sacks in limited time.

Contract projection

Two years
$9 million
$5 million guaranteed

I structured it similarly to all of the deals above. His entire first year is guaranteed like Miller and Feliciano. A second-year roster bonus would mean he either gets released prior to free agency or the team has to pay him to keep him. If you tack on one year at $4.5 million to make it a three-year, $13.5 million deal, it’s a lot closer to Miller’s numbers but Miller was two years younger when he signed his contract.

He gets a hefty raise, more than doubling his 2019 salary. Frankly, I was surprised the salary was so low when he signed a year ago. He’s been a consistent but not spectacular performer who has been incredibly durable for two franchises now.

I also don’t think this number is going to come from the Bills. Spain played all 64 offensive snaps in Week 17 in a meaningless game against the New York Jets. They took every other starting o-lineman off the field. Buffalo is poised to give a big contract at left tackle and they will want to have a cheaper option at left guard.

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