Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott have their work cut out for them this offseason. They have a lot of retooling to do and plenty of unrestricted free agents trying to re-sign.
The Bills have 15 unrestricted free agents and almost no wiggle room to enter free agency.
Unrestricted free agents include:
- Mitchell Trubisky
- Taiwan Jones
- matt breida
- Emmanuel Sander
- Isaiah McKenzie
- Jake Kumerow
- Ike Boettger
- Bobby Hart
- Jerry Hughes
- mario addison
- Efe Obada
- Harrison Phillips
- Vernon Butler
- Siran Neal
- Levi Wallace
The Bills also have two restricted free agents – Justin Zimmer and Ryan Bates.
It’s quite interesting that former assistant general manager Joe Schoen, who is now the general manager of the New York Giants, noted recently that they (the Bills) were going to have money “over there”, implying that the Bills would have enough room to make moves in free agency.
How would the Bills create enough cap space to sign free agents to help them reach the Super Bowl in 2023?
There are two ways to create cap space: restructure current contracts and release players who are currently under contract.
You may have heard the expression “limit the number of victims”. These are players who are removed from a roster, to save money for the salary cap. They are usually performed with veterans, which can be considered expendables.
It’s almost certain that the Bills will try to restructure contracts this spring/summer, but releasing players is also something that will likely happen.
One player who could definitely be a victim of the cap is wide receiver Cole Beasley.
Beasley carries a cap of $7.6 million in 2022, and what’s interesting is that Beasley’s dead cap goes down to just $1.5 million in 2022. That means there’s little penalty, financially, to release him during the last year of his contract.
Defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and linebacker AJ Klein are also prime candidates for “stunts.”
Beasley signed with the Bills in 2019 and played a significant role in the Bills’ offense in 2019 and 2020; he provided security cover for Josh Allen.
However, Beasley’s role was diminished in 2021; even though he caught 78 passes, he was not a threat to run routes in front of the sticks. The 32-year-old wide receiver turns 33 in April and his veteran leadership was a reason he was brought in for Allen.
Now that Allen has risen to the top two or three quarterbacks in the NFL, and the fact that the Bills need cap space to make offseason upgrades to positions like cornerback, offensive line, defensive line, running back and wide receiver, it’s a real scenario to deal with that he’s released for heading purposes.
Beasley made headlines in 2021 with his position on the COVID-19 vaccine, including tweets that made the rounds, defending his position on the vaccine. Beasley was notably not vaccinated during the season.
Would you be okay with the Bills releasing Beasley to make room on the cap, or would you be against it? Which free agency wide receiver would you want for the Bills next season?
Did these free agents last play as Bills?
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