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Buffalo Bills prioritized Forrest Lamp over Jamil Douglas in compensation

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

We haven’t reported on the contracts for 2021 NFL free-agent signings Forrest Lamp and Jamil Douglas. The details weren’t available by the time we ramped up our NFL Draft coverage, but I made a note to circle back following the annual selection meeting. Douglas signed on April 2 with Lamp following on April 7. Spotrac has contract details that differ from Over The Cap, and both websites gave the players less than what should be their veteran minimum salaries, so let’s just say the numbers are a bit wrong right off the top, but they agree on the dissimilar structures for the two players.

What’s been interesting to track is the hierarchy of the Bills’ free-agent signings this year. Even though many of the contracts are at the veteran minimum in terms of salary, the team has structured them differently. Some use signing bonus money, some roster bonus and per-game roster bonus money, and some are straight salary.

Comparing Douglas and Lamp, the latter is clearly the more valued player. Lamp had $350,000 of his compensation guaranteed while Douglas only $75,000. Lamp received a bigger signing bonus than Douglas, as well. For Lamp, it was a maximum veteran minimum deal.

Forrest Lamp

Signing bonus: $137,500
Base salary: $920,000 ($212,500 guaranteed)

Cap hit: $1,057,500
Dead cap if cut: $375,000
Cap space saved if cut: $707,500

Jamil Douglas

Signing bonus: $25,000
Roster bonus: $25,000
Base salary: $920,000 (none guaranteed)

Cap hit: $995,000
Dead cap if cut: $75,000
Cap space saved if cut: $920,000

In the financial pecking order, here is how the interior of Buffalo’s offensive line plays out in terms of cap hits:

  • Mitch Morse $8.328 million
  • Jon Feliciano $3.265 million
  • Ike Boettger $2.113 million
  • Cody Ford $2.048 million
  • Forrest Lamp $1.058 million
  • Jamil Douglas $995,000
  • Jordan Devey $860,000
  • Jack Anderson $685,936
  • Steven Gonzalez 660,000
  • Syrus Tuitele 660,000

Editor’s note: This article was updated to address the discrepancies with Over the Cap and Spotrac plus what the veteran minimum should be.