clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Nickell Robey contract details: low cap numbers for Buffalo Bills CB

New, comments

Rather than risk losing him as a restricted free agent or tender him at a high salary, the Bills gave Nickell Robey money up front to secure his services for two more years at highly reasonable cap hits.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Although he signed it last Sunday, the initial details of the new contract that Nickell Robey signed with the Buffalo Bills were only revealed yesterday. Per ESPN's Mike Rodak, Robey's two-year extension will pay him $4.1 million in new money, with $1.3 million guaranteed. The contract also contains incentives which can increase its total value to $5.1 million.

The report also indicates that Robey's 2016 salary cap hit will be $1.6 million, a number which is considerably lower than the second-round tender it likely would have taken to retain Robey next offseason (which, in 2015, was $2.356 million). An original-round tender, the lowest available, would have left the Bills at risk of another team poaching Robey with a heftier deal, and without any draft-pick compensation had he left, given that Robey was an undrafted free agent.

The new contract will pay Robey a $1.3 million signing bonus (that's the guaranteed figure) without changing his 2015 salary. In 2016 and 2017, Robey will earn a total of $1.175 million and $1.625 million, respectively. Additionally, as reported, there are $500,000 in annual performance incentives in 2016 and 2017. His 2015 salary cap hit only increases by about $430,000.

As the second-round tender is not guaranteed, Robey gains some financial security with the signing bonus, while also receiving a bit of roster security going forward - because if cut, the Bills will create over $860,000 in dead money.

The deal is a good bit of business for the Bills, as they secure Robey's services for two additional years, while saving themselves at least $800,000 on his 2016 salary cap hit when the team will need to manipulate their books a bit to free up money to re-sign major contributors. The Bills utilized their cash reserves to make Robey happy now, and bought themselves a team-friendly deal with limited downside for a player who, despite beginning his third NFL season, is still only 23 years old.

Here is a yearly breakdown of the cap hits in Robey's new contract:

Payment Type 2015 2016 2017
Signing Bonus $433,333 $433,333 $433,334
Salary $585,000 $1,000,000 $1,450,000
Roster Bonus $0 $125,000 $125,000
Workout Bonus $6,240 $50,000 $50,000
Incentives $0 $500,000 $500,000
Cap Hit $1,026,907 $1,608,333 $2,058,334