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Buffalo Bills full contract details: Dion Dawkins numbers show it’s not a prove-it deal

Dawkins is the left tackle of the present and the future.

Earlier this month, the Buffalo Bills announced they had re-signed left tackle Dion Dawkins to a multi-year contract extension. That was in line with our projections, but as always, we like to see how the numbers actually work out and what’s guaranteed before we judge the contract.

I’ve been checking multiple sources for the last two weeks and the numbers are finally on Spotrac.

It’s a four-year $58.3 million contract extension with the opportunity to earn more money in per-game roster bonuses throughout the contract, up to $60.3 million. Half of that, $29.5 million, is fully guaranteed.

The most interesting piece for me was the 2021 option bonus of $7.5 million. It’s a salary cap maneuver and is not a typical straight roster bonus. Instead, it’s an option for the Bills to completely re-write the deal and use the $7.5 as a new signing bonus, spreading out the cap hit over the remaining years of the deal. With the salary cap expected to be artificially low in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this saves the Bills valuable space next year. It also makes it pretty darn likely Dawkins will see every dime of the contract.

2020

Pro-rated signing bonus (old deal): $295,589
Pro-rated signing bonus (new deal): $1.72 million
Roster bonus: $4.85 million (guaranteed)
Workout bonus: $50,000
Base salary: $1,250,441 (now guaranteed)

Cap hit: $8.166 million

2021

Pro-rated signing bonus: $1.72 million
Pro-rated option bonus: $1.875 million ($7.5 million pro-rated over four years)
Workout bonus: $250,000
Base salary: $7.3 million (guaranteed)
Per-game active bonus: $250,000 ($15,625 per game)*

Cap hit: $11.395 million

2022

Pro-rated signing bonus: $1.72 million
Pro-rated option bonus: $1.875 million
Roster bonus: $500,000
Workout bonus: $250,000
Base salary: $8.13 million
Per-game active bonus: $250,000 ($15,625 per game)*

Cap hit: $12.725 million
Dead cap: $10.785 million
Cap savings if cut: $1.94 million

2023

Pro-rated signing bonus: $1.72 million
Pro-rated option bonus: $1.875 million
Roster bonus: $500,000
Workout bonus: $250,000
Base salary: $8.855 million
Per-game active bonus: $250,000 ($15,625 per game)*

Cap hit: $13.45 million
Dead cap: $7.19 million
Cap savings if cut: $6.26 million

2024

Pro-rated signing bonus: $1.72 million
Pro-rated option bonus: $1.875 million
Roster bonus: $500,000
Workout bonus: $250,000
Base salary: $9.3 million
Per-game active bonus: $250,000 ($15,625 per game)*

Cap hit: $13.895 million
Dead cap: $3.595 million
Cap savings if cut: $10.3 million

* All per-game roster bonuses will go up to $265,625 if and when the NFL moves to a 17-game schedule