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Re-visiting our contract projections for the 2021 Bills free agents

How’d we do?

On Friday, I posted the contract projections for the current 2022 Buffalo Bills free agents. Someone asked how close I was last year, so I took some time to compare what I projected with the deals the Bills players actually signed.

Let’s see how I did.


LB Matt Milano

Projected
Four-year, $52 million contract
($27.6 million guaranteed)
$3.5 million available in incentives

Actual
Four years, $41.5 million
($20 million guaranteed)
$2.3 million available in incentives

I was off by a considerable margin, but at the time most folks believed Milano gave the Bills a pretty big home-town discount. I was pretty shocked about it a year ago.

Click here to read the full projection for Matt Milano.

RT Daryl Williams

Projected
Four years, $35 million
$18 million fully guaranteed

Actual
Three years, $24 million
$9.4 million fully guaranteed

I was pretty close on average annual value ($8.75 million to $8 million) but the Bills have started handing out these three-year contracts to players they like-don’t-love, and I have taken that info into account with the contracts in 2022.

Click here to read the full contract projection for Daryl Williams.

OL Jon Feliciano

Projected
Four years, $30 million
$11 million fully guaranteed

Actual
Three years, $14.4 million
$4.4 million fully guaranteed

A big swing and a miss on this one. I overvalued Jon Feliciano. I projected $7.5 million per season, but he came in at $4.8 million. I also thought he would sign somewhere other than Buffalo to get that bigger contract, which could explain a bit of the home-town discount, but not that much.

Click here to read the full contract projection for Jon Feliciano.

TE Tyler Kroft

Projected
One year, $3.3 million

Actual
One year, $2 million

Maybe in a non-COVID offseason, he would have made $3 million but he did not get that much from the New York Jets a year ago. It’s a pretty hard fall two years after making $6 million per season.

Read our coverage from last year’s contract restructure for Tyler Kroft.

DE Trent Murphy

Projected
One year, $3 million

Actual
Out of football

We didn’t do a standalone piece on Trent Murphy because the Bills made him a healthy scratch so much down the stretch. There were a lot of older DEs that made $2-3 million, so I thought he might get that. He didn’t.

P Corey Bojorquez

Projected
Three years, $8.85 million
$3.02 million guaranteed

Actual
One year, $1.02 million
Nothing guaranteed

I projected a contract similar to the one they gave Matt Haack, but I way overvalued Bojorquez. No ifs, ands, or buts. Read the projections article before you stone me.

Click here to read the full projection for Corey Bojorquez.

CB Josh Norman

Projected
One year, $2.5 million (up to $6 million)
$2.5 million guaranteed plus incentives

Actual
One year, $1.5 million

I wrote that “I find it difficult to believe Norman is going to be considered an every-down player on the open market” adding “this figure seems a touch higher than I want to spend this offseason.” It was a touch higher than anyone was willing to spend on him, apparently.

Click here to read the full projection for Josh Norman.

CB Levi Wallace

Projected
One year, $2.133 million

Actual
One year, $1.75 million

Pretty darn close.

Click here to read the full projection for Levi Wallace.

QB Matt Barkley

Projected
Two years, $4 million
$600,000 guaranteed

Actual
One year, $1.075 million

Barkley took a pay cut when the Bills didn’t re-sign him. He didn’t see the end of the deal, as he was cut during the season.

Click here to read the full projection for Matt Barkley.

RB Taiwan Jones

Projected
One year, $1.7 million

Actual
One year, $1.75 million

SO CLOSE!

Click here to read the contract details from last year’s Taiwan Jones contract.

RB T.J. Yeldon

Projected
“League minimum”

Actual
Out of football

“I can’t believe he’ll make more than the league minimum at this stage in his career.” Right you are, Matt.

Click here for more information on T.J. Yeldon’s previous contract.

S Dean Marlowe

Projected
One year, $1.55 million
Fully guaranteed

Actual
One year, $990,000
Nothing guaranteed

We didn’t do a full article on Marlowe, but the figure we put on the projection was the contract he signed the year before.

Click here for the contract details from last year for Dan Marlowe.

KR Andre Roberts

Projected
One year, $1.5 million
Fully guaranteed

Actual
Two years, $5.5 million
$2.5 million guaranteed

I thought he’d take a pay cut at his age, but he got a pay bump that the Houston Texans regretted by midseason when they released him. When he joined the Los Angeles Chargers mid-year, they signed him to league minimum. I’m gonna chalk that up as a win!

Click here to read the full contract projection for Andre Roberts.

OT Ty Nsekhe

Projected
One year, $1.21 million
$137,500 guaranteed

Actual
One year, $1.75 million
$500,000 guaranteed

One of the reasons he left could have been the $500k signing bonus the Dallas Cowboys offered.

Click here to read the full contract projection for Ty Nsekhe.

OG Brian Winters

Projected
One year, $1.21 million

Actual
One year, $1.21 million

It was a projection for the NFL veteran minimum and that’s exactly what he was paid. An absolute W for me.

Click here to read the full contract projection for Brian Winters.

WR Isaiah McKenzie

Projected
One year, $1.13 million
($275,000 guaranteed)

Actual
One year, $1.275 million
$350,000 guaranteed

Man was I close on this one. I really wish the comments section hadn’t been nuked, because I was called crazy for this projection and everyone thought it was too low.

Click here to read the full projection for Isaiah McKenzie.

OG Ike Boettger

Projected
One year, $920,000
($275,000 guaranteed)

Actual
One year, $2.133 million

I did not think the Bills would use the Restricted Free Agent tender on Boettger, but they did. It’s why I projected an RFA tender for Ryan Bates this offseason.

Click here to read the full contract projection for Ike Boettger.

Editor’s note: We did not include players released by the team. Only free agents whose contracts expired.


Looks like I overvalued players a little bit. In a negotiation, the players come with one side and the team comes with another. These are probably mostly aligned with what players came to the table with instead of the meet-in-the-middle number.

Fun exercise.