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Could Jerry Hughes get the transition tag from the Buffalo Bills?

If the Bills can't re-sign Jerry Hughes long term and don't want to use the franchise tag on him, what would using the transition tag on him look like?

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

While Buffalo Bills fans spend time trying to figure out what it might cost for the team to re-sign Jerry Hughes long term, and weighing the pros and cons of using the franchise tag on him, Alex Marvez of offers up a little-discussed alternative in a recent column.

In a piece detailing teams that might use the franchise tag starting next week, Hughes and the Bills are mentioned by Marvez, though he cautions that a massive financial investment might be too rich for Buffalo. Instead, he writes: "A transition tag designation doesn’t seem out of the question - similar to what Pittsburgh successfully did with outside linebacker Jason Worilds in 2014."

Last offseason, Pittsburgh used the transition tag on Worilds, allowing him to negotiate freely with other teams, but giving the Steelers the right of first refusal to match any offer with another team that he signs. Worilds eventually signed the transition offer sheet, guaranteeing him just under $9.8 million for the 2014 season.

Back in October, Albert Breer of projected the 2014 transition tag number for a defensive end at $11.94 million (Worilds was tagged as a linebacker, for the record). Nearly $12 million guaranteed for one year might still be a stretch for Hughes - he'd have a cap hit nearly $4 million higher than Marcell Dareus, and the second-highest on the team behind Mario Williams - but even without the promise of draft pick compensation in return if he signed elsewhere and the Bills didn't match, $11.94 million is easier to swallow than Breer's projection of $14.78 million for a franchise-tagged defensive end.

Clearly, the ideal situation for the Bills remains to re-sign Hughes long term at as reasonable a rate as possible. But if that doesn't work out, how does the idea of the team using the transition tag on him strike you?