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NFL salary cap: Re-examining Jordan Poyer’s contract extension one year later

In March 2020, safety Jordan Poyer became the first notable Buffalo Bills player to receive a contract extension during the COVID-19 pandemic. He signed for two years and $19.5 million with $8.5 million fully guaranteed.

Since Poyer signed, six players have passed him on the safety market in annual average salary by signing new contracts or contract extensions. His $9.75 million in annual compensation is down to 12th among safeties where before he was sixth.

Poyer’s deal is only for two seasons, so comparing it to the longer contracts in terms of total value or fully guaranteed money doesn’t tell much of a story.

It is interesting to note than his defensive backfield counterpart Micah Hyde signed for less money—two years and $19.25 million—but had more guaranteed money in the deal.

The purpose of this article is to show you that even though Poyer signed a market-level deal, 16 months later he’s not in the top ten of safeties anymore. If you assume each team has two starting safeties, that seems pretty close to his value.