The Buffalo Bills play a base nickel defense, meaning they only use two linebackers on the regular. For the last two years, they’ve had A.J. Klein as their third linebacker. But at a high cap figure, it’s looking likely he’s a cap casualty this offseason.
The biggest part of this conversation is $400,000. That’s all that Klein will count on the Bills’ cap if they release him. Klein had a tiny signing bonus back in 2020, just $1.2 million—but almost $10 million of his salary for 2020 and 2021 was fully guaranteed. He knew he would be on the roster for those two seasons but the 2022 offseason was the likely out in the contract.
If Buffalo releases Klein, they save $700,000 in a roster bonus due later this month, $4.2 million in base salary, plus some bonuses and incentives to top $5.1 million in savings. With high cap figures on both starters, Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano, Klein is just a luxury the Bills can no longer afford.
- All-22 Review: A.J. Klein
- All-22 Review: Tyrel Dodson
- How much would the Bills save cutting A.J. Klein?
- 2022 NFL Draft options for linebacker depth
- Free agents who could fill A.J. Klein’s role cheaper
- Opinion: Bills can replace A.J. Klein in-house
- Bills release A.J. Klein
- Bills re-sign LB Tyrel Dodson
- Brandon Beane has confidence in Tremaine Edmunds, even if fans don’t