There was a clear risk to carrying $68 million in dead money on the salary cap last year.
But the Bills feel like it was worth it for this year, and the future.
Via Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News, the Bills planning has left them with the third-most cap space this year (around $79 million) and the most heading into 2020 (around $123 million).
Of course, any deals they sign this offseason will cut into next year’s amount, but the Bills are in an interesting place as they build a roster.
They’ve churned it significantly, with just five players left who pre-date coach Sean McDermott and General Manager Brandon Beane. Losing some of the leftovers they didn’t want to build around led to last year’s spending limitations, but the Bills had the benefit of goodwill from breaking a 17-year playoff drought.
“I think you have to look at where you are as a football team,” NFL Network analyst and formerr NFL G.M. Charley Casserly said. “The Bills are in a rebuilding situation. You have to be smart with your money, meaning players you want to sign are guys going into their second contract if you’re going to do big deals. Not third contract. And you take the best player available because they have multiple needs.”
The Bills are also in the window of having that most valuable commodity — a quarterback on his (cheap) rookie contract. Josh Allen counts just $4.8 million this year and $5.7 million in 2020, allowing them to spend on the roster around him.
Beane emphasized in his letter to fans last week that it would be a process to create “long-term, sustained success,” which doesn’t suggest a wild spree this offseason. But if they can target players effectively, they certainly have an opportunity.