Getting a bargain is never a bad thing in life. For people like us, maybe we catch a buy one, get one free sale at the local store. For people like Brandon Beane, it may be in the form of a few million-dollar savings. In the end and regardless of the situation, savings is savings. For a team that was one game from the Super Bowl, the Buffalo Bills have quite a few players that would be considered “bargains” given all that they bring to the table as a player and teammate on and off the field.
1. Josh Allen
I debated whether to put players on their rookie deals on this bargain list. After all, most rookie deals are bargains compared to what they used to be. But the truth is, first-round rookie deals can also be a hindrance to a team if the player does not pan out. Brandon Beane has done an exceptional job drafting and he should be commended for that. Spending a little more money on playmakers while their franchise quarterback was on a rookie deal was a goal that Beane vocalized before they even drafted Allen back in 2018.
Josh Allen will carry a cap hit of $6.9 million this season. That is good for 24th overall and is less than Ryan Fitzpatrick, Daniel Jones, and Taysom Hill. After reading those names, now might be a good time to remind you that Josh Allen is coming off of the best statistical year by a quarterback in franchise history. Fitzpatrick, Jones, and Hill? Yikes. “Bargain” isn’t the word to describe Allen’s cap hit this year. In the words of Rick Jeanneret, the Bills are “robbing him blind”.
2. Stefon Diggs
Last month, I ran a story asking if Stefon Diggs was underpaid. The response from the fanbase was an emphatic and strong “yes”. As I outlined in the article, Diggs will have the 12th highest cap hit for wide receivers next year. The total value of Diggs’ contract, $72 million, is eighth in the league for receivers and well behind Amari Cooper’s $100 million. For a further look into Diggs’ bargain of a contract, check out what I had to say about it.
3. Levi Wallace
Brandon Beane has struck gold many times in his short tenure in Buffalo. One of which was getting one of the team’s two starting Cornerbacks as an undrafted free agent. Yes, there are times that Wallace is on the bad end of routes. And yes, every year he seems to go through a rough patch. But the best part of Wallace’s game is his ability to self-correct and rebound.
Considering that he was a walk-on at Alabama and went undrafted in the NFL, the Bills getting as much as they have gotten out of Wallace these past three years is amazing. It is a testament to Levi Wallace and his mindset, dedication, and the way that he approaches the game. I was shocked that the Bills did not lose him in free agency back in March. And I was even more shocked when I saw that he re-signed with the Bills for $1.8 million in 2021. Getting one of the starting Cornerbacks of a 13-3 team re-signed at that price is miraculous. It is the bargain to end all bargains.
4. Matt Milano
Milano is another player that I outlined earlier this offseason as someone who took a hometown discount to remain in Buffalo. He is one of the best coverage linebackers in the league, and his impact on the Bills’ defense was quite noticeable during the 2020 season. With Milano in the starting lineup, the Buffalo Bills lost one game – the AFC Championship in Kansas City. The four-year, $41.5 million extension he signed is ranked 23rd in the league in total value for linebackers and his cap hit of $7.8 million this year is very team-friendly for a player of his caliber.
5. Tremaine Edmunds
Despite being on an already cheap rookie contract, another player that the Bills currently are underpaying is Tremaine Edmunds. Edmunds was often caught in the crosshairs of Bills fans last season for being above average. He did not take the next step like many wanted, and expected, to see from him. While his play plateaued, Edmunds remained a steady, reliable force for the Bills’ defense. Many were hoping he’d catapult to Ray Lewis status, but the 23-year old still finished second on the team with 119 tackles and was selected to his second straight Pro Bowl.
Edmunds’ $12.6 million total contract is less than A.J. Klein’s and his $2.2 million cap hit is so small it is laughable for a player of his caliber. I’d certainly call those bargain numbers. This will be the last year of getting Edmunds at a good price as his fifth-year option will kick in next offseason and will carry a cap hit of $12.7 million.
6. Micah Hyde
One of the original Buffalo Bills that Sean McDermott handpicked after his arrival has been nothing but spectacular each season he has suited up. Last year, Hyde signed a two-year, $19.25 million extension with the Bills. His cap hit for the upcoming season is a pedestrian $6.6 million, which is 14th in the league for Safeties. Hyde quarterbacked a Bills secondary that gave up an average of 233 passing yards per game. He finished the 2020 season with 70 tackles and one interception. While those numbers wouldn’t be eye-popping to the casual fan, members of the mafia know how important Hyde is to the Bills defense and the entire team.
7. Jordan Poyer
Micah Hyde’s partner in crime also makes the list. Poyer’s contract is virtually the same as Hyde’s, as he signed a two-year, $19.5 million extension last offseason as well. Poyer will carry a cap hit of $7.9 million in 2021. He is 30 years old but is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Last year, Poyer lead the team in tackles with 124. He also added two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and two sacks.
8. Cole Beasley
Now would be an appropriate time to remind everyone that Cole Beasley received a First-Team All-Pro vote last year for being the best Slot Receiver in the NFL. I think a lot of fans glossed over that news, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that just a small number of wideouts can say that they received a First-Team All-Pro vote in their career. Beasley is in the final year of his contract here in Buffalo, a contract that had a total value of $29 million. This year, Beasley will make $7.3 million, which is 25th in the league at the position. While Beasley is aging, there is no doubting what he means to the Buffalo Bills offense and locker room. For a player that contributed as much as he did last year, $7.3 million is a bargain any day of the week. Especially Sundays.
9. Tyler Bass
In his rookie season, Tyler Bass broke the Buffalo Bills franchise scoring record for points in a season previously held by Steve Christie. After a shaky first half of the season, Tyler Bass recovered to make 16 out of 17 field goals in the second half of the year. The rocket foot made four out of his six field goals attempted beyond 50 yards and added three more in the playoffs. None bigger than a 54-yard field goal late in the Wild Card round against the Colts that pushed the Bills lead to nine points. Bass also made two 51-yard field goals in a difficult road environment in the AFC Championship game.
Considering his youth and raw talent, many would already put Bass among the top 10 kickers in the league. His $3.5 million total contract value is good for 19th in the league and his cap hit is less than $1 million. The Bills will get Bass at a bargain price for the foreseeable future, as he has three years left on his rookie deal.
10. Jon Feliciano
Brandon Beane was practicing his wizard ways when he re-signed starting guard Jon Feliciano to a three-year, $14.4 million deal earlier this offseason. Feliciano has been a steady force along the Bills’ offensive line over the past two seasons. Feliciano’s first contract in Buffalo averaged $3.6 million per year. In his new contract, he averages $4.8 million per year. In my opinion, Feliciano performed well enough to earn more than a $1 million raise. Despite playing a position that has a surplus of suitable fill-ins, Feliciano is an above-average guard and has developed a voice within the Buffalo Bills locker room – his low cost combined with what he brings to the team lands him on this bargain list.
There’s the list, Bills fans. All of this bargain hunting has got me in the mood to save some money. Does anyone know of any chicken wing deals going on right now?