The 2020 Buffalo Bills are set to emerge from what seems like an impossibly long hiatus, and will now participate in a training camp located in the socially-distanced confines of One Bills Drive. As a backdrop to this, rumors have been swirling that the lost revenue resulting from the pandemic situation may force the overall salary cap to drop from $192.2 million to some lower amount in 2021. What that drop will look like, no one knows for certain. If the league’s revenue loss is significant, the cap could potentially drop to as low as $130 million, according to some sources. Such a catastrophic change for teams would be unlikely, however. With that inauspicious caveat, let’s check in on the 2020 Buffalo Bills’ contemporaneous cap space to see what kind of money they have to work with at this point in time.
Data courtesy of Spotrac.com
Editor’s note: This article was written prior to the announcement of a minimum $175 million salary cap in 2021. The league’s response to COVID-19 and lost revenues will impact the 2021 salary cap but the 2020 cap is remaining in place.
The number above is the current amount of cap space Spotrac estimates that the Bills have in the coming season. This estimate is based on the current 2020 NFL cap of $192.2 million. That amount ranks Buffalo as having the 11th-most amount of spending in the league. The rebuilding Carolina Panthers currently lead the league with a projected cap space just over $41 million. Interestingly, after leading the league in dead money the past couple years, Buffalo now has the second-lowest amount, a relative pittance of approximately $1 million. What a turnaround on that front for general manager Brandon Beane and the rest of the front office, although that number will surely rise due to cuts following training camp.
With close to $20 million to spend throughout the season, the aforementioned Beane is free to pursue any preseason or in-season additions who might help the team in the short or long term. What is more likely to happen is that the team rolls over the most cap space they possibly can into next year, in an effort to sign upcoming free agents such as Matt Milano, Dion Dawkins and Jon Feliciano. Team cuts following the completion of training camp may also inflate the Bills cash to spend, as veterans like Ty Nsekhe and Trent Murphy may have already lost their starting positions on the team and moving on from both would achieve significant savings.
Looking slightly ahead to the 2021 season, the team seems to be decently positioned to re-sign some of their own, with $20 million in projected space already according to Spotrac, a figure which assumes no 2020 rollover of cap. Notably, Buffalo also has the second-most players in the league already under contract for 2021 at 61.
Ultimately, the $19,317,077 figure means very little, as the whole league is in a holding pattern waiting for the re-estimate of the 2020 cap ceiling. When that re-estimate gets released, be sure to check in here at Buffalo Rumblings to read about our analysis.