Last year, the Buffalo Bills signed free-agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to a one-year, $6 million deal with the cap hit spread out over two seasons. Sanders is now set to become a free agent and turn 35 years old over the next month.
If the Bills are looking to re-sign Sanders, there is a specific amount of money he would cost.
Buffalo Bills 2021
One year, $6 million
Sanders’s own deal with the Bills from a year ago is one of the best comps. Nearly all of his money—$5.9 million—was fully guaranteed.
Arizona Cardinals 2021
One year, $6 million
Signed at age 32, Green’s entire one-year contract was fully guaranteed.
Jacksonville Jaguars 2021
Two years, $12.5 million
A slightly higher average value, Jones was 31 when he signed.
If Sanders wants to keep playing, the $6 million range is where I expect him to land. Buffalo may be able to sign him up for a smaller contract with incentives built in to make one more run at a championship, but there aren’t really models for that and if I’m Sanders looking at Gabe Davis, I don’t want to sign up for those incentives anyway.
In 2021, the Bills gave him a $2.75 million signing bonus and added a void year, so half of that signing bonus is hitting the cap in 2022. That will impact the Bills either way, but general manager Brandon Beane does not like pushing cap hits like that. I doubt he would do it again.
One year, $6.1 million
$6 million guaranteed
If the Bills were to re-sign him, I’d expect a similar deal to the one he signed before. Beane likes to be able to add in per-game active roster bonuses, which could be a way to keep the cap number low, as Sanders missed several games in 2021.
Ultimately, I don’t think the marriage makes financial sense in 2022. Sanders will want guaranteed money and the Bills should be looking at Davis to be a cost-controlled option instead. Unless he takes a well-below-market deal, it looks like a one-year relationship.
One year, $3 million
$3 million in playing time and receptions incentives
Odell Beckham Jr. had $3 million worth on incentives built into his contract with the Los Angeles Rams so it’s doable, but I feel like Sanders has proven himself more than OBJ. Beckham received $500,000 for the Rams winning the Super Bowl.
- All-22 review of Emmanuel Sanders
- All-22 review of Gabriel Davis
- What would is cost to re-sign Emmanuel Sanders
- Emmanuel Sanders hints at retirement
- Davis can be WR2, but in-house receivers are slim pickings
- Free agents at outside WR
- NFL Draft options at WR
- Opinion: wide receiver is the biggest need no one is talking about