Everyone knew the Buffalo Bills were tight against the NFL’s salary cap heading into the 2022 offseason, but that hasn’t stopped general manager Brandon Beane from working his cap magic to address Buffalo’s needs.
When the season ended, Spotrac had the Bills as being just above the $208 million salary cap for the 2022 season. The cap situation was so dire, Beane told reporters “I wouldn’t see us being like big spenders or anything like that,” when discussing how he would attack free agency.
Yet despite the lack of cap space, Beane was able to restructure the existing contracts of veterans like center Mitch Morse, linebacker Matt Milano, safety Micah Hyde and punter Matt Haack, and extend Pro Bowl wide receiver Stefon Diggs for four more seasons, keeping the talented wideout in Buffalo through the 2027 season. All of that added a bunch of cap space.
Beane also signed free-agent edge rusher Von Miller, wide receiver Jamison Crowder, tight end O.J. Howard, guard Rodger Saffold, defensive tackles Tim Settle, DaQuan Jones and Jordan Phillips, defensive end Shaq Lawson, and running back Duke Johnson. Beane also re-signed wide receivers Isaiah McKenzie and Jake Kumerow, offensive linemen Ryan Bates and Ike Boettger, and cornerback Siran Neal.
All told, Beane has revamped his roster while navigating the team’s salary cap situation. Who could have seen Beane being so shrewd with his wheeling and dealing? Well for starters, his former assistant general manager Joe Schoen, currently in his first year as general manager of the New York Giants.
As he was addressing members of the media during his introductory press conference, Schoen let on that, before he left the Bills, he and the front office were busy working on ways to free up some money to shore up the Bills’ roster this offseason.
“Fortunately, I was able to get on the road quite a bit this year,” Schoen said. “In Buffalo, I’d already seen rounds one through four on our board, so I’m at a good spot on the college draft. I was working towards free agency. We were going to have some money over there.”
Turns out, Schoen knew what he was talking about when it came to Buffalo’s plans to free up cap space this offseason. Let’s just hope Beane didn’t share his NFL Draft big board with his former assistant GM.