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Buffalo Bills restructure Charles Clay's contract to save cap space

The Buffalo Bills have moved some or all of Charles Clay's $10 roster bonus to a signing bonus.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills announced on Thursday night they had come to an agreement with Charles Clay to restructure his contract to make more room for the team on the 2016 salary cap. It's a move that had been expected for some time and general manager Doug Whaley announced it on the team's flagship John Murphy Show.

Don't worry about Clay. The $10 million roster bonus he was due to collect in a couple weeks was probably turned into a signing bonus. Instead of counting entirely against the team's 2016 cap, that $10 million cap hit will likely now be spread out over the remaining four years of his deal.

Short-term, this is great for Buffalo as it clears $7.5 million on the 2016 cap. Unfortunately, it adds $2.5 million to each subsequent season. The cap hit for the final three years of his contract will be $9 million each season. It also should be noted that Clay has made $23 million in his 12 months on Buffalo to this point.

The Bills now have roughly $9 million in projected cap space for the 2016 season and can save a hair under $13 million more by releasing Mario Williams. They could also renegotiate contracts with Leodis McKelvin and Corey Graham. They should have no limitations in re-signing Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito and could even sneak in a deal with Tyrod Taylor before the 2016 begins.