The Buffalo Bills and Brandon Beane will have to work their magic to maneuver the cap this offseason. They’ll have to make some tough decisions, considering they currently have -$1.3M in cap space and will only rollover $2.3M from this past season. With some significant needs and players hitting the free agent market, they will need to look everywhere for cap space. Let’s look at five cut/restructure candidates that will give the Bills some cap flexibility.
1.) Cole Beasley ($6.1M saved, $1.5M dead cap)
While he totaled 82 receptions, 693 yards, and a touchdown, Cole Beasley seemed to lose a step this past season. In 2019 and 2020, Cole Beasley was Josh Allen’s security blanket; he heavily relied on him. Now, with the emergence of Dawson Knox, Gabriel Davis, and Isaiah McKenzie (assuming he returns), Beasley is left in the shadows. Additionally, there are plenty of quality WR prospects in this draft class. If the Bills can find a slot receiver that’s cheaper, you would have to pull the trigger.
2.) Cody Ford ($1.5M saved, $870K dead cap)
Cody Ford hasn’t lived up to expectations, losing his starting job countless times. Given their current lack of depth at guard, the Bills could look to keep Ford. However, he fell out of favor with the Bills coaching staff early in the season; only seeing the field as an injury replacement. If the Bills can find a good guard through free agency and/or the draft, releasing Ford may be a wise idea.
3.) Jon Feliciano ($3.4M saved, $1.5M dead cap)
Much like Ford, Jon Feliciano fell out of favor with the Bills staff when he came back from his injury mid-season. He underwhelmed in his first year after signing a three-year/$14.4M contract, but Beane can get out of it relatively unscathed this offseason.
4.) A.J. Klein ($5M saved, $400K dead cap)
A.J. Klein has been serving as the Bills’ third LB since signing a three-year/$18M deal in 2020. Klein has shown he can be a capable LB, but his contract just doesn’t fit here anymore. Last season, Klein totaled 35 tackles, four TFLs, and one QB pressure with a base salary of $4.2M in 2022. There is somebody on the roster that has a chance to replace Klein: Tyrel Dodson. In Dodson’s time on the field, he has shown he can be a very capable LB. Plus, he’s a lot cheaper than too.
5.) Restructure Star Lotulelei ($2.5M saved)
Unfortunately for Bills fans, Beane cannot afford to cut Star this offseason. They would only save about $1.5M and take on $7.7M in dead cap. However, they can restructure his deal and save $2.5M this year.
Total: The Buffalo Bills would save $18.7M with these moves, putting their cap space at $16.7M.