The Buffalo Bills don’t have starters under contract for at least four positions; right tackle, both guard spots, and the second cornerback spot—plus they’ll need to figure out a way to address the weak-side linebacker spot this offseason. That’s a long list, so while the Bills are currently right at the NFL’s salary cap, they also have needs to address.
After hitting $198 million as the salary cap in 2020, NFL clubs naturally expected the cap to keep going up in 2021. It’s never gone down before and revenues have always been up year over year. But the COVID-19 pandemic changed that, and the NFL’s revenue shrank considerably just like the revenue of most companies in the entertainment industry. Instead of $210 million or more, the league and NFLPA reached a deal where the cap would go no lower than $175 million. Reports are emerging that it could be a touch higher than that—$180 or $185 million—but still, there are a lot of teams over the cap heading into 2021.
The Buffalo Bills currently have $185 million in their top-51 salary-cap commitments and $187 million in their total cap commitments. They also have ~$3.7 million to roll over from the 2020 cap to add space.
Like more than half the league, the Bills are currently scheduled to be over the 2021 salary cap. The New Orleans Saints are $100+ million over the cap. The Philadelphia Eagles are $50 million over. Buffalo is 19th in the league in available cap space at -$6.1 million, according to Spotrac and based off a $175 million standard cap.
Over the next few weeks, we will detail how the Bills can add a bunch more salary-cap space with some smart contract restructures and veteran cuts, but that’s where the Bills stand right now.