July 16, 2024

Who’s next for a new Buffalo Bills contract?

This offseason, the Buffalo Bills made many squad layoffs in order to free up salary money for 2025 free agency. Giving out a few contracts to existing members of One Bills Drive will be necessary in order to retain them.

The five-year option for defensive end Greg Rousseau to play in 2025, the three-year contract extension for left tackle Dion Dawkins, and the three-year deal with nickel cornerback Taron Johnson were all fulfilled by the Bills during the 2024 offseason. Defensive end A.J. Epenesa, safety Taylor Rapp, defensive back Cam Lewis, and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones all signed new contracts while being unsigned free agents.

So who’s next for a new contract from the Bills? Let’s take a look.

OT Spencer Brown (UFA 2025)

Spencer Brown (offensive tackle) - Wikipedia

The Bills re-signed left tackle Dion Dawkins this offseason to a contract that keeps him in Buffalo through 2027. Brown is entering the final year of his rookie deal and played his best ball in 2023. If the Bills lock him up, they have a chance to buy low. If he has another good season, it could price him out of Buffalo.

General manager Brandon Beane spoke with former Bills center Eric Wood on his podcast earlier this offseason and talked about Brown’s growth from missing his senior year of college due to COVID-19 restrictions to working through an injury in his sophomore season, and how they’ve developed him coming from Northern Iowa. After all that work, you’d want to keep him around, right?

I haven’t done an analysis of the market, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see him make at least $12 million per season, to put him in the top 10 of NFL right tackles — or even more.

DE Greg Rousseau (UFA 2026)

Gregory Rousseau: News, Stats, Bio & More - NBC Sports

In his third NFL season, Rousseau really started to turn it on, making him another buy-low prospect. With Leonard Floyd out of the picture, 2024 may be the former first-round pick’s breakthrough year. He will earn $13.3 million on his fifth-year option in 2025 and has two more years left on his contract, but if they sign him to a long-term contract, they may reduce his budget charge for the upcoming season. Given the probability of Von Miller’s departure after 2024, Rousseau need to be your primary pass rusher as soon as possible.

Rousseau isn’t in line for a (Jaguars) Josh Allen-type of deal at the top of the market after 17 career sacks in three seasons, but I think expecting him to sign for less than $13 million per season is gone. Don’t expect him to be near A.J. Epenesa’s $6 million-per-year deal.

CB Rasul Douglas (UFA 2025)

Buffalo Bills restructure Rasul Douglas contract to open up 2024 cap space  - Buffalo Rumblings

I really thought they might do this in the spring, but instead the Bills just pushed out some of Douglas’ cap hit into the future. As it stands now, if Douglas isn’t on the roster at the start of the 2025 league year, he’ll count $4.125 million against the cap. Giving him a year or two extension will push that out into the future.

I don’t expect this deal to come before training camp and it may even hinge on the progress of third-year cornerback Kaiir Elam. If Douglas is one of the Bills’ two starters this year and they don’t see a path for Elam to be a starter in 2025, they’re apt to give Douglas a year or two more on his deal and lock up the position.

He’s making $7.5 million in 2024, but only one cornerback older than Douglas is making more than that (Darius Slay with the Philadelphia Eagles). To me, that seems like a reasonable amount of money for Douglas on a per-year basis.

S Damar Hamlin (UFA 2025)

Buffalo Bills second-year safety Damar Hamlin had taken key role

I wouldn’t invest a lot of money on Hamlin as a player. However, given the change at safety, Buffalo may offer him a small deal equivalent to Cam Lewis if he shows signs of making the squad in training camp.

In addition to the NFL minimum pay of $425,000, a $25,000 yearly workout bonus, and $7,000 (up to $119,000) in per-game roster incentives every season, Lewis signed a two-year contract for $3.1 million.

From Hamlin’s point of view, the problematic issue is that he can likely earn a respectable livelihood as a motivational speaker. It may have an impact, and if it does, it gives him greater power.

QB Josh Allen (UFA 2029)

Josh Allen - Wikipedia

We are literally only one year into Josh Allen’s extension right now, but he’s already slipped to the 11th-highest-paid quarterback in the NFL on a per-year basis with deals coming soon for quarterbacks Dak Prescott and Tua Tagovailoa who are likely to pass him, too.

Allen is set to make less than $70 million over the next two seasons while Lamar Jackson made $80 million in 2023 alone. Allen may not sign an “extension” but he should certainly sign a new contract at some point that pushes cash up to the front of his deal. Starting in 2025, Allen’s cash payments jump up north of $38.5 million and Buffalo could do him a solid by starting that in 2024 instead and taking it from the future years.

The Chiefs did that with Patrick Mahomes in September 2023, moving up more than $43 million from the back end of his contract into the 2023-to-2026 league years. He ended up making $59 million in 2023 and $46 million in 2024, but now he’s only scheduled to make $27.175 million in 2028. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that’s not going to happen and he’ll get another new deal before then.

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