Salary cap space
As of March 17, 2021, the Bills are projected to have $18,659,153 in cap space for 2021.
The Bills rolled over $3.8 million in 2020 cap space.
March 10 update: The salary cap has been set at $182.5 million.
In 2020, the Buffalo Bills celebrated their first division title in 25 years. The offense was the engine for their success as the Bills racked up the second-most points and yards in the league. The acquisition of WR Stefon Diggs and the maturation of Josh Allen into a potent passer took this franchise to heights not seen since the days of Jim Kelly and Andre Reed. Buffalo ended the regular season with a 13-3 record, their best mark since 1991. As of this writing, they are in the Divisional round of the NFL playoffs and will host the Baltimore Ravens this weekend.
The Bills are at just about eye level with the 2021 salary cap number, but they have some notable free agents along their offensive line who should be a priority this offseason. So, some tough cuts lie ahead.
The NFL powered through its 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The league played without fans in most stadiums, and limited fans in a handful of locations. The decrease in gate revenue is going to result in a decrease in money shared between the 32 teams. This in turn means the salary cap has been decreased. The NFL has announced an official salary cap of $182.5 million, which is sure to result in some tough choices for many teams.
All salary cap information below comes courtesy of the NFLPA Public Salary Cap Report.
A few dismissals seem rather obvious for the Bills to create more cap space. Wide receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley have been productive when on the field, but neither man is probably worth the cap number they carry in 2021. Brown, who played just nine regular-season games this year, would cost $9.75 million next season, but releasing him would save $8.15 million. Cutting Beasley would create $3 million in dead money but also clear about $4.3 million in space. Getting rid of those two would not only create more financial flexibility, but it would help Buffalo get younger at WR as both men are north of 30. It would also ostensibly open up more high-value targets for fourth-round rookie wideout Gabriel Davis, who acquitted himself well at times on the field this season.
Defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson has been a serviceable pass rusher for the Bills, but he has no guaranteed money remaining on his contract, which runs through 2021. Cutting him would save $8 million. Defensive lineman Vernon Butler should also be considered as a cut candidate. Doing so would save $6.85 million while taking on just a $1 million cap hit.
The cap space Buffalo creates should focus somewhat on bringing back valuable free agents such as guard/center Jon Feliciano, right tackle Daryl Williams and linebacker Matt Milano, all of whom are 27 or younger.