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2022 NFL Free Agency: Bills give Greg Van Roten a signing bonus, but keep cap hit low

The Buffalo Bills have gone about solidifying their offensive line this offseason, adding several players to the group. The latest is Greg Van Roten, who was signed this week. Even at this late stage in the game, he was able to nab a signing bonus from the Bills.

The $152,500 signing bonus is the only guaranteed money in the deal, per Spotrac, and is the only dead cap money in the one-year deal should he be cut.

Van Roten will make $1.12 million in base salary this season if he makes the roster. That is the veteran minimum for players with seven or more years of service. (Van Roten has seven.). His cap hit is only $1,047,500, though. That’s equal to the $895,000 minimum for a second-year player plus the amount of the signing bonus.

To achieve this lower cap hit, Buffalo is utilizing the veteran salary benefit, formerly called the minimum salary benefit or the veteran minimum benefit, which allows older players to play at a reduced salary-cap hit in order to make it more likely for them to stick on a roster as opposed to the team going for a younger player merely for the cap savings.

The benefit also allows a player to make an additional $152,500 in signing or roster bonus. The Bills maxed out his compensation in that regard.

Tavon Austin, Jake Kumerow, Eli Ankou, and a few other Bills players were signed this offseason using the benefit.

2022
Signing bonus: $152,500
Base salary: $1.12 million

Cap hit: $1,047,500 (Veteran salary benefit)
Dead cap if cut before seson: $152,500
Cap savings if cut before season: $895,000