The Buffalo Bills re-signed veteran cornerback E.J. Gaines last month. After being released by the team in August, Gaines never latched on with anyone else so it’s not surprising that his contract in 2020 is for the veteran minimum.
A year ago, Gaines signed with the Bills for $2.1 million but only earned $350,000 in signing bonus and offseason workout bonuses before being released from injured reserve. The season before, he made $4 million with the Cleveland Browns, so nabbing him at under $1 million for 2020 is a good deal for his talent. His price has dropped due to availability concerns. (Gaines has played in only six combined games over the last two years.)
Gaines receives $25,000 in a signing bonus—and that’s the only guaranteed money on the contract. He will earn $910,000 in salary but only count $775,000 against the salary cap due to the veteran minimum benefit designed to keep veteran players competitive in the marketplace. Because of the altered cap number, there is little benefit to cutting him for salary cap reasons alone.
It’s a no-brainer for the Bills to add Gaines, who could potentially play starter reps, at that price.
Signing bonus: $25,000
Base salary: $910,000
Cap hit: $775,000
Dead cap if cut: $25,000