The Buffalo Bills began the week with roughly $77 million in cap space to use in 2020. Then they went on a spending spree, doling out big contracts, extending a veteran leader, and adding a legit big-time receiver. In the process they went from cap-flush to cap-strapped.
Here’s what they did with all their cap space:
OG Quinton Spain
2020 cap hit: $4.75 million
The Bills re-signed their starting left guard for an absolute deal. It solidified a need and ensured that the offensive line wouldn’t be considerably worse than it was last year. Around the league, free-agent linemen are making a killing.
LB A.J. Klein
2020 cap hit: $6 million
The Bills added the starting linebacker at the beginning of free agency for a pretty hefty price tag. His versatility will hopefully come in handy.
WR Stefon Diggs
2020 cap hit: $11.5 million
The Bills traded for a top wide receiver instead of attempting to sign one on the open market. When you see Amari Cooper getting $20 million per season, the Diggs deal is a steal at $12 million annually.
LB Tyler Matakevich
2020 cap hit: $5 million estimate
His contract is for two years and $9 million, but we don’t have details yet. The way Buffalo has been front-loading contracts, it’s probably in the $4.5 to $5.25 million range for 2020 so we’ll estimate $5 million for now.
DE Mario Addison
2020 cap hit: $10 million
That’s a spicy meatball. Addison takes a big chunk of Buffalo’s cap, even at 32, but pass rushers all over the NFL are signing for big money.
SS Jordan Poyer
2020 cap hit: $8 million (was $3.925 million)
The Bills boosted Poyer’s number by $4.075 million with his new extension. He’s such an important part of the defense that the value is still great.
DT Vernon Butler
2020 cap hit: $7.9 million
We’re not 100% sure on this number since we don’t know if the sack incentives are Likely To Be Earned, so we went with the higher of the two options.
DL Quinton Jefferson
2020 cap hit: $7 million estimated
We also don’t know how Jefferson’s contract is broken down. It’s for two years and $13.5 million, so we split the difference and rounded up for now.
RB Taiwan Jones
2020 cap hit: $1.5 million estimated
Jones played last year on the veteran minimum. He played 2018 on the veteran minimum. He played 2017 on the veteran minimum. We estimated he’d do that again in 2020.
After all is said and done, the Bills have spent $61.65 of their $77 million in cap space, meaning they have roughly $15.35 million remaining in total available space.
During this point in the offseason, only the top 51 contracts count toward the salary cap, which means nearly every contract below $700,000 comes off the cap number. That removes $9 million for the total cap number. Total available space stands right around $24.35 million.
If you reserve $4.1 million for the 2020 NFL Draft picks, the Bills have roughly $20 million of salary cap space to work with right now.
That pretty much takes multiple contract extensions off the table for right now unless the team makes a cut or two. LB Matt Milano, LT Dion Dawkins, or CB Tre’Davious White and their $12+ million AAV contracts will likely have to wait. They are probably limited to only one in the current cap space.