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Salary cap: Don’t expect a big signing, but Bills still looking for free-agent help

The Bills’ cap situation is still tight

The Buffalo Bills filled a lot of holes during the 2022 NFL Draft, but not all of them. They still could use more capable players at interior offensive line, tight end, and maybe even wide receiver, cornerback, or safety.

Don’t expect the Bills to make any big signings, though. General manager Brandon Beane spoke with the media in his post-draft media availability and said they don’t have flexibility. While the Bills have roughly $7 million in cap space per Spotrac, that number only accounts for the Top 51 contracts in the offseason. When they cut the final roster to 53 players, all of those contracts will count and that number will go down.

“I think the cap is still an issue,” Beane said earlier this week on One Bills Live. “Where our cap number sits, that’s our Top 51. If you look at some early roster projections, we need more money to get into the regular season. If you were to cut it down right now, we would need another three or four million bucks and then you’ve got replacement costs for guys that get injured between now and that time or even in season that you need to save. So you’re always trying to save five or six million bucks. So we don’t have a lot of flexibility but yes we’ll still be out there looking for some vets and hopefully they’re at our price.”

Veterans around the league are still available, either not receiving the contract they thought they would in free agency, teams waiting until after the compensatory pick formula deadline (that has now passed this week), or players who were cut following the NFL Draft. Without obvious holes on their roster, the Bills are hoping they can add a player at the right price and they don’t need to press.

If the Bills need space, they could restructure contracts for cornerback Tre’Davious White or left tackle Dion Dawkins to push out their 2022 cap hits over the next several seasons. A contract extension for safety Jordan Poyer or linebacker Tremaine Edmunds would also lower their cap hits for 2022.