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Report: Buffalo Bills restructure tight end Tyler Kroft’s contract

The new deal makes him a free agent in 2021

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills have restructured the contract of tight end Tyler Kroft, per a tweet from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. The deal essentially guarantees Kroft’s spot on the roster in 2020, but it shaves a year off of his original contract.

When Kroft, 27, initially signed with the Bills last offseason, the contract was a three-year deal worth $18.75 million. The first year of the deal paid Kroft $6,712,500, but the Bills could have cut him this year with only a $1.6 million dead-cap charge. This year, Kroft was due to make $5,612,500, per Spotrac.

Now, according to Pelissero, the Bills have reduced Kroft’s earnings this season to $4 million, shaving $1.6 million off the deal while guaranteeing him $3.4 million. They also will grant him the chance to become a free agent in 2021. Kroft will turn 29 in October of that season.

It should be noted that if the Bills cut Kroft and he is signed elsewhere, his 2020 cap number in Buffalo will be reduced by whatever amount his new team signs him for. It’s unlikely it will be $3.4 million, so this is a pretty solid indication Buffalo wants him back.

To say that Kroft’s first year in Buffalo was disappointing would be an understatement, as the big tight end was injured before training camp began. He broke his foot in April 2019, which was the same injury he had suffered during his final year with the Cincinnati Bengals. While Kroft was injured, rookie tight end Dawson Knox took control of the starting role at tight end.

Kroft finished the season playing in 11 games, making three starts. He had six receptions for 71 yards on 14 targets. His lone touchdown was a big one, as it was the game-winning score on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the game that clinched a playoff spot for the Bills last December.