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Contract projection for Buffalo Bills backup quarterback Matt Barkley

He’s a free agent.

The Buffalo Bills drafted Jake Fromm in the 2020 NFL Draft, but kept him inactive for the entire season. They have Davis Webb on the practice squad. Now veteran Matt Barkley will be entering free agency. Do the Bills need to re-sign the steady vet?

If they do, he’ll come relatively cheap.

Two years ago, Barkley signed a contract extension with the Bills for two years and $4 million. He didn’t even get close to free agency, as Buffalo signed him on December 21. This time, we’re well past that mark and the Bills are over the projected 2021 salary cap.

The annual average salary of $2 million tied him for 43rd in the NFL with Nate Sudfeld of the Philadelphia Eagles. He’s behind other backups like Colt McCoy, Taylor Heinicke, Jeff Driskel, A.J. McCarron ($4 million), Marcus Mariota, and Taysom Hill. He’s ahead of Chad Henne, Cam Newton, Joe Flacco, Josh McCown, Blaine Gabbert, Mike Glennon, Gino Smith, Blake Bortles, Brian Hoyer, Nathan Peterman, and Mason Rudolph.

So what’s that all mean? It means he was probably pretty well-compensated. The minimum salary for a player with Barkley’s years of service is $1.075 million. That would have been 57th in the NFL in 2020.

I don’t really think there is an argument to be made that he should make the vet minimum. I don’t think there’s an argument to make that he should be paid more than he made over the last two seasons.

Two years, $4 million
$600,000 guaranteed

It’s the same contract down to the guaranteed money. A $600,000 signing bonus is the only guaranteed money and they can cut him if Fromm or Webb come in and blow it up during the offseason.

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