clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Buffalo Bills restructure Tre’Davious White’s 2021 salary to gain cap space

The Buffalo Bills were right up against the NFL’s 2021 salary cap. They were so close, that if Restricted Free Agent Ike Boettger signed his tender, they wouldn’t have been able to process the contract. On Wednesday, ESPN’s Field Yates reported that the Bills created cap space by restructuring cornerback Tre’Davious White’s contract.

It’s a simple move. The Bills take part of White’s base salary and convert it to signing bonus, giving him the cash up front. The salary cap hit of that money is then pro-rated over the remaining five years of the deal like a signing bonus, spreading out the cap hit to multiple later seasons when the NFL’s cap should go up.

In this case, Buffalo took $9.46 million of White’s $10.45 million salary, and shifted it. White is now making the league minimum in terms of salary, but received a check for $9.46 million. Now a bad day. His signing bonus will be pro-rated at $1.892 million per season.

The move saves Buffalo nearly $7.6 million in cap space in 2021. That allows them to sign some low-tier free agents who add a few hundred thousand each time they bump a lower-paid player out of the top 51 contracts. It also clears the $1.7 million the team will need to sign draft picks plus leaves some room for injury replacements during the season.

The move makes sense for White since he gets the money up front and it helps out the team. The move makes sense for the team because White isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and they need the space in 2021.

Here are the numbers for his old contract if you’re like to view them. The breakdown for his new deal is below:

2020
Old signing bonus: $1,369,748
New signing bonus: $2.1 million
Old salary: $1.841 million
New salary: $6.409 million

Cap hit: $11,719,748

2021
Signing bonus: $2.1 million (pro-rated portion)
Option bonus: $1.5 million (pro-rated portion)
Restructure bonus: $1.892 million (pro-rated portion)
Salary: $990,000 (fully guaranteed)

Cap hit: $6.782 million

2022
Signing bonus: $2.1 million (pro-rated portion)
Option bonus: $1.5 million (pro-rated portion)
Restructure bonus: $1.892 million (pro-rated portion)
Roster bonus: $500,000
Workout incentive $300,000
Playing time incentives: $250,000 ($15,625 per game)
Salary: $9.95 million (injury guaranteed, fully guarantees on 5th day of league year)
Pro Bowl incentive: $250,000

Cap hit: $16.492 million

2023
Signing bonus: $2.1 million (pro-rated portion)
Option bonus: $1.5 million (pro-rated portion)
Restructure bonus: $1.892 million (pro-rated portion)
Roster bonus: $1 million
Workout incentive $300,000
Playing time incentives: $250,000 ($15,625 per game)
Salary: $8.6 million (injury guaranteed, fully guarantees on 5th day of league year)
Pro Bowl incentive: $250,000

Cap hit: $15.642 million
Dead cap: ~$14.4 million
Cap savings if cut: ~$1.3 million

2024
Signing bonus: $2.1 million (pro-rated portion)
Option bonus: $1.5 million (pro-rated portion)
Restructure bonus: $1.892 million (pro-rated portion)
Roster bonus: $1.5 million
Workout incentive $300,000
Playing time incentives: $250,000 ($15,625 per game)
Salary: $8.35 million
Pro Bowl incentive: $250,000

Cap hit: $15.892 million
Dead cap: ~8.8 million
Cap savings if cut: ~$7 million

2025
Option bonus: $1.5 million (pro-rated portion)
Restructure bonus: $1.892 million (pro-rated portion)
Roster bonus: $1.5 million
Workout incentive $300,000
Playing time incentives: $250,000 ($15,625 per game)
Salary: $10,485,093
Pro Bowl incentive: $250,000

Cap hit: ~$16.3 million
Dead cap: ~$3.4 million
Cap savings if cut: ~$12.9 million