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2020 NFL Free Agency: Full contract breakdown for Buffalo Bills linebacker A.J. Klein

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That’s pretty rich.

The Buffalo Bills added linebacker A.J. Klein early during the 2020 free agency period and his contract numbers have been released. After earning $15 million in three seasons for the New Orleans Saints, Klein is set to haul in $18 million in three years in Buffalo.

Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle shared the info on Twitter.

Klein earns a hefty amount of full guaranteed money, with more than half the contract locked in. A small $1.2 million signing bonus, $3.1 million roster bonus next week, and a $2.2 million base salary are all guaranteed PLUS $3.2 million of his 2021 salary is guaranteed, for a total of $9.7 million. We hadn’t seen a full guarantee into year two on a contract signed by the Bills this offseason. It’s likely this guarantee contains offset language, where if Buffalo releases him a year from now, they’ll be on the hook for the $3.2 million unless he signs a new contract. If he signs a new contract, his new salary figure would be deducted from the $3.2 million until it zeroed out for Buffalo.

That 2021 makes it much more complicated to cut him after one year, but not impossible. That being said, it sure seems like a two-year, $12.6 million deal more than a three-year, $18 million contract.

Just to compare, the Bills also were interested in LB Christian Kirksey and brought him in for a visit. He signed for $6.5 million per season over two years, so a touch more money than Klein, but he only needed $4 million guaranteed to put pen to paper. Buffalo committing nearly $10 million to Klein is obviously much higher than the $4 million for Kirksey.

2020
Pro-rated signing bonus: $400,000
Roster bonus: $3.1 million (guaranteed)
Workout bonus: $100,000
Base salary: $2.2 million (guaranteed)
Per-game active bonus: $200,000 (12,500 per game)

Cap hit: $6 million

2021
Pro-rated signing bonus: $400,000
Roster bonus: $1.6 million
Workout bonus: $100,000
Base salary: $4.1 million
Per-game active bonus: $200,000 (12,500 per game)

Cap hit: $6.4 million
Dead money: $800,000
Cap savings if cut: $5.6 million

2022
Pro-rated signing bonus: $400,000
Roster bonus: $700,00
Workout bonus: $100,000
Base salary: $4.2 million
Per-game active bonus: $200,000 (12,500 per game)

Cap hit: $5.6 million
Dead money: $400,000
Cap savings if cut: $5.2 million

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