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2021 NFL Free Agency: Levi Wallace contract details are in

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills are pinching pennies and nowhere is that more evident than at cornerback, where Levi Wallace was allowed to hit the free-agent market instead of receiving the Restricted Free Agent Tender. That tender, for $2.133 million, would have been a baseline for any contract Wallace considered from other teams.

Contract numbers are in, and the Bills saved $400,000 on the salary cap number for 2021 but Wallace can earn up to the RFA tender amount with playing time incentives. Information comes from Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News and Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic.

Wallace receives $300,000 in a signing bonus (something he would not have received with the RFA tender), $50,000 in workout bonus, $1.15 million in base salary, $250,000 in per-game roster bonuses, and can earn up to $300,000 in playing-time incentives. The incentive levels were undisclosed. $1 million of the salary is fully guaranteed.

That’s a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the possibility to get to $2.05 million—just a hair shy of the $2.113 million RFA tender.

All-in-all, the guaranteed money and signing bonus are better for Wallace than the RFA tender while the cheaper contract and cap space relief is better for the Bills. It’s a win all around, especially if Wallace plays a lot.

Here is the breakdown:

Signing bonus: $300,000
Workout bonus: $50,000
Base salary: $1.15 million
Per-game active bonus: $250,000 ($15,625 per game)
Playing time incentive: $300,000 (Incentive level unknown)

Cap hit: $1.75 million