Buffalo Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn and his agent have a keen eye on the offensive tackle contract market at the moment, given that Glenn is less than two months away from becoming an unrestricted free agent. Surely, their eyes were aglow at the contract that Lane Johnson of the Philadelphia Eagles signed on Friday morning.
Johnson, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, signed a five-year contract extension worth up to $63 million with $35.5 million in guarantees, per both NFL Network and ESPN. The five-year extension adds on to the final year of Johnson's rookie deal, which would have paid him $3.11 million, and which had an original cap hit of $6.13 million.
Glenn's situation is not precisely the same as Johnson's was, but as a matter of practicality, it is significant to both Glenn and the Bills. Philadelphia signed Johnson to a long-term deal to avoid exercising a fifth-year rookie contract option that would have paid Johnson the average of the top ten highest-paid tackles in the league. While it's not known how much his 2016 cap figure will rise (that's based on how big his signing bonus was, and that information has not yet been made public), it's still very likely that the final sum will be less than what it would have been in 2017 had the fifth-year option been exercised.
Buffalo is likely eyeing a long-term contract with Glenn for a similar reason: their only other way of retaining him this offseason is applying the franchise tag, which would almost certainly cost them north of $13 million. A properly-structured, long-term deal would drop that 2016 cap figure significantly, which is necessary if the cap-strapped Bills are going to make additional moves beyond simply re-signing Glenn.
What seems clear now is that if the Bills do end up re-signing Glenn to a multi-year deal, it will cost them well over the $10 million per-year floor that is his reported market value. The new magic number is probably the $12.6 million figure that Johnson's new deal establishes; a more careful evaluation of Johnson's contract will likely prove that figure to be inflated by incentives, but Glenn's deal could mimic that structure, anyway.