2. Cap space creation coming up soon
One of Brandon Beane’s core philosophies is remaining as cap strong as possible year over year to avoid getting into situations like we’ve seen in New Orleans where they ask players to take sizable pay cuts or restructure contracts to kick money into future years only to have to do it again and again.
Last year’s restrictive cap in the wake of the pandemic year of 2020 forced Beane into taking that route just to remain competitive in the free agent market. Some hard decisions were made. Even though the cap did go up this year to just over $208 million, the Bills like other teams aren’t completely out of the woods with respect to the fiscal management of a salary cap that hasn’t caught up to where it was originally forecast.
“We’re glad to see it increasing this year and not decreasing, but honestly, it’s still lower than what it would have been,” said Beane. “A couple of years ago, we were at $198 million. It would at that point would have probably gone to 208 to 210. We would have been well into I would guess 225 million by now. So, it’s going to be a multi-year process to truly recover.”
As a result, Buffalo will have some difficult decisions to make again this offseason. Whether that means contract restructuring, extending a player under contract to lessen the cap hit, asking a player to take a pay cut or releasing a player remains to be seen.
Beane would prefer to avoid restructuring knowing it only delays a showdown with prohibitive cap figures, but there will have to be some financial decisions made next week.
“We still have to work our way through it,” said Beane. “We’ve got moves where we’ve had some discussions. We’ll have some more discussions and then hopefully by mid late next week when we get back (to Buffalo) we’ll start making some moves to get our cap where we need it so that we can have the resources to sign some guys in free agency. Some of it could be re-signing our own, but also guys from other teams.”