The Buffalo Bills made a flurry of roster moves on Tuesday, most of them centered around an effort to clear up a bit of cap space and retain the rights to their premiere free agent. What was the net gain of all of that roster maneuvering? Let's break it down.
Mario Williams released
This long-awaited move was the key to the Bills being able to free up enough money to, in essence, use tag values on both cornerback Stephon Gilmore (playing at a fifth-year option value of over $11 million this year) and the next name on the list. Williams' 2015 campaign was a disaster, with a huge drop in production and many public complaints about his role. His departure does, however, leave the Bills with a pass-rushing void to fill behind new top edge rusher Jerry Hughes.
Net salary cap change: $12.9 million saved
Cordy Glenn franchise tagged
Glenn was easily Buffalo's best offensive lineman to invest in - being a durable, 26-year-old, experienced, and steady starting left tackle - and they did just that by using the franchise tag on him, preventing him from hitting the open market. Now, they'll work on signing Glenn to a long-term contract extension, which would achieve two goals: making sure their left tackle is under contract beyond the 2016 season, and lowering his salary cap value from the franchise tag total of $13.706 million.
Net salary cap change: $806K spent ($12.9M - $13.706M)
Kraig Urbik released
Releasing Urbik, a six-year Bills veteran with plenty of starting experienced, saved the Bills $1.78 million on the books. Urbik re-structured his contract a year ago to stay with the team as a reserve, but even after a solid 2015 campaign in that role, his 2016 salary skewed toward untenable. His departure, however, leaves the Bills with seriously questionable talent on the interior offensive line, especially if the team can't re-sign starting left guard Richie Incognito.
Net salary cap change: $974K saved ($1.78M - $806K)
Boobie Dixon released
The Bills saved $1.15 million by releasing Dixon, the 2014 free agent signing that spent the last two seasons as a core member of the team's special teams units. Dixon's release comes at a time when starting running back LeSean McCoy is being investigated in Philadelphia - if charged, he could face a league suspension - which might bump running back up a bit on the Bills' list of priorities.
Net salary cap change: $2.124M saved ($1.15M + $974K)
In addition to the $2.124 million in 2016 salary cap savings yesterday netted, however, the Bills also added $8.02 million in dead money to their cap, with the vast majority of that ($7 million) from Williams' deal.