In an effort to provide Buffalo Bills fans with information, we have been providing information on potentially moving on from several veterans and their contracts. Jerry Hughes won’t be one of them based on his contract and role on the team.
The Bills don’t have players who can step up and replace Hughes, for starters. Trent Murphy has severely underperformed, Shaq Lawson is a free agent, Darryl Johnson Jr. is very green, and Mike Love is even greener.
Financially speaking, it would be an impossibly stupid move to release Hughes. His entire 2020 salary of $6.65 million is already fully guaranteed as part of the contract extension he signed in 2019. The only money Buffalo would be able to get back would be the $500,000 roster bonus owed him on the fifth day of the league year. They aren’t going to pay him to not be on the roster. In fact, his cap hit would INCREASE by $1.35 million if he’s not on the roster.
A year from now is when things change. He’ll be 32 and will turn 33 before the 2021 season begins. He will have no more guaranteed money on his contract and he has a $1 million roster bonus and $6.1 million in salary. If they release him, his dead-cap hit will be $2.1 million so Buffalo would save more than $7 million in actual cash and cap space being that it’s the final year of his deal.