Right now, the Buffalo Bills are about $5 million under the offseason salary cap. That may seem like a lot, but you should expect a contract restructure here in the near future.
It was last year on June 1 that the Bills converted a chunk of Stefon Diggs’s contract to signing bonus to pro-rate it. At the time, I said it made him a likely candidate for an extension in 2022. (That happened.)
Now as we approach June 1 again, the Bills don’t have enough money for their 2022 season. The number I listed about is just the top 51 players; that’s the rule in the offseason. When the Bills cut to 53 players at the end of August, they will add nearly $2 million to their cap commitment, bringing them down to just $3 million in cap space. That’s enough to sign a veteran or two if an injury comes, but not a good veteran, and then they are in even more trouble.
Even if the Bills aren’t looking at a veteran option to add to the roster right now, I expect a contract restructure in the near future to free up some cap space and make an injury replacement viable.
Here are some candidates:
Tre’Davious White ($6.7 million savings)
For White, who has four years left on his contract, they wouldn’t have to add a void year for 2026 but they could. The number I gave above represents just a straight restructure, and spreads out more than $8 million in salary over the next four seasons. If they wanted to, the void year would spread it out over five seasons and give them even more margin.
Dion Dawkins ($4.7 million savings)
Their left tackle has been steady (outside of some COVID-related hiccups) so they expect to have him long-term. Taking almost $7 million in salary and stretching it out over the final three years of his deal would clear almost $5 million in cap space. Adding void years would clear even more. Dawkins will be 30 in the final year of his current contract, so void years and a potential extension down the line are certainly in play.
There are no other realistic options. Everyone else at a cap figure high enough for the Bills is playing on an expiring contract, already restructured their contract this offseason, already had a big option bonus this offseason, or signed a contract extension this offseason.
If I had to guess, I would go with the healthy player in Dawkins over White recovering from an injury. They shouldn’t need more than the Dawkins cap savings plus they would still have the White space if they needed it during camp to sign a CB if he falls behind schedule on his return.