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Salary cap: Bills have March 18 deadline for Matt Haack release

If they don’t release him by that day, he’s locked in

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

The Buffalo Bills have a looming decision deadline on punter Matt Haack. Free-agency tampering opens on March 14 with the official opening on March 16. By March 18, they need to have their mind made up about Haack.

Buffalo’s punter is due a $275,000 roster bonus that day and $1 million of his 2022 salary guarantees, as well. That’s the vast majority of Haack’s money in 2022 and the same money they will need to use to replace him. By simple accounting, they can’t keep that money on their books unless he’s on the roster so the decision will be finalized in the next week.

If Buffalo releases him, his dead-cap hit is $700,000 compared to the $1.9 million if he’s on the roster. That’s a cap savings of $1.2 million by releasing him. They are likely to spend that much on his replacement, so it’s likely a salary cap wash.

No matter what happens, the move goes down as a big swing and a miss by general manager Brandon Beane and the Bills’ front office.