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Salary cap ramifications of releasing Buffalo Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka

What is the cost?

Last offseason, the Buffalo Bills signed kicker Stephen Hauschka to a one-year extension, meaning he was under contract for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. None of the money beyond 2019 was guaranteed so it added some peace of mind for both sides without shackling either to a bad deal.

After some struggles in the middle of the season to the point where Buffalo put in a waiver claim on another kicker, Hauschka was able to turn it around. He finished the year right in the middle of NFL kickers in a bunch of different metrics.

If the Bills wanted to get cheaper at the position, they certainly could. He has the tenth-highest average annual value of kickers in the league right now.

What would be the cap ramifications?

The only dead money left on Hauschka’s contract is from his signing bonus, but that was very minimal. (The Bills instead used a hefty roster bonus in 2019 to give him his up-front money.) Only $625,000 times the two remaining seasons puts his dead cap number at $1.25 million. His cap hit in 2020 is $3.05 million.

Hauschka does have a roster bonus of $250,000 due on March 22nd and I don’t see any way they won’t pay him that. For that to happen, Buffalo would need to make a kicker replacement high priority and sign a free agent in the first couple of days. Mason Crosby or Dan Bailey are probably the only two names on the list for which you could see making the move.

2020 cap hit: $3.05 million
Salary due: $2.175 million
Roster bonus: $250,000 due March 22

Dead money if cut: $1.25 million
2020 cap savings if cut: $1.8 million
Cash savings if cut: $4.725 million over two seasons