According to reports early Monday morning in a tweet by Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Buffalo Bills and running back Nyheim Hines are in negotiations that would result in a restructure of Hines’ current contract.
The deal is intended to free up cap space for the Bills who are reportedly well over the NFL’s salary cap limit for 2023. In addition to turning some of the base salary in Hines’s current contract into a signing bonus, Buffalo is said to be including plenty of incentives that would allow the return specialist an opportunity to earn more than the $4.79 million he was originally slated to receive next season. Whether those incentives include more offensive snaps or are heavy on the special teams end remains to be seen.
#Bills RB Nyhiem Hines is in the process of reworking his deal to stay in Buffalo, sources say. He’ll convert part of his base salary to signing bonus to provide some cap relief. Incentives added give him the chance to earn more than his previously scheduled $4.79 million in ’23.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 13, 2023
Hines joined the Bills during the 2022 NFL season in a last-minute trade with the Indianapolis Colts as the timer was about to expire on the league’s November 1 trade deadline. After arriving in Buffalo, Hines didn’t see many offensive snaps, officially gaining minus-three yards on six rushing attempts – although he was able to put up 53 yards and a touchdown on five receptions out of the backfield.
Hines’ biggest contribution to the Bills came as a return man, as the team lost Jamison Crowder after he broke his ankle in Buffalo’s Week 4 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
In his best game of the season, Hines took the opening kickoff back for a touchdown in the Bills’ final regular-season game when the team took the field for the first time since safety Damar Hamlin had collapsed from an in-game cardiac arrest in Cincinnati just six days earlier. Hines then took a second return all the way to the end zone for a second touchdown later in the same game.
Further details about the restructure – and if it’s even a done deal – for the 26-year-old running back out of North Carolina State aren’t available yet, but we will update if and when those are made public.