On Sunday, the Buffalo Bills signed running back LeSean McCoy to a re-structured contract, giving him $40 million over five years ($26.5 million of that guaranteed) while lowering his 2015 cap number by $4.75 million.
Now, as the team pursues other free agents while trying to re-sign some of their own guys, the team is talking about making a similar contract re-structure with new quarterback Matt Cassel. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com had the report.
LeSean McCoy got a new deal after his trade to Buffalo. Expectation is Matt Cassel gets a similar sort of multi-year deal (not the same $)— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2015
On the one hand, it's hard to figure why the Bills would want to extend a rental quarterback like Cassel at all, given that he has just one year remaining on his current deal at a relatively modest $4.75 million cap hit. If it does happen, the idea would be the same: add another year or two to the end of the deal, lower the base salary in year one ($4.15 million), add more guarantees in the form of a signing bonus, and spread that hit out over the length of the deal to lower the 2015 cap number.
Which brings us to the other hand: if Cassel isn't part of the Bills' long-term plans (which he probably shouldn't be), why do this at all? The most obvious answer seems to be that the 2015 cap space is needed - and with the team reportedly working hard to close a new deal with Jerry Hughes, preparing a significant offer for Miami tight end Charles Clay, and perhaps more, they may need all the cap space they can get.