The Buffalo Bills had the highest-paid center on their roster two offseason ago. Now Mitch Morse is third in terms of annual compensation in his four-year, $44 million deal. Even with that, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to release Morse right now.
Strictly speaking financially, the Bills could release Morse to open up $5.5 million in salary cap space in 2021. The timing of it wouldn’t make sense, though, because he is not scheduled to make any significant money for another six months.
Morse isn’t due any roster bonus this offseason at the beginning of the league year. He’s not going to make any money until his workout bonus of $100,000 this offseason. He’s not going to make noteworthy money until the season opens where he’s set to earn $7 million in base salary. That would fully guarantee if he’s on the roster in Week one plus he will make $31,250 each game he is active.
Buffalo can keep Morse all the way through the summer without paying him any significant money. With holes at two offensive line positions right now, creating a third by jettisoning Morse doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when it won’t cost them a dime.
Even if Morse gets hurt right now and retires, only $1.325 million of his 2021 salary is guaranteed for injury.
Keep Morse, build the rest of the team, then if you sign a Plan B you can release him after that if that’s your plan. I personally think he stays at center in 2021.