The Buffalo Bills were able to clinch a playoff berth in 2019 for the second time in three years under head coach Sean McDermott. Like every other team in the NFL, the Bills will have to make some crucial decisions in the upcoming offseason.
One of the first spectacles of the NFL offseason is free agency. The new league year begins on March 18th and that is when unrestricted free agents can begin signing with other teams.
With the free agency period just two months away, the Bills are expected to have $82.5 million to divvy up in the offseason, according to Spotrac. Among their impending free agents, Jordan Phillips and Shaq Lawson are the two important players to keep an eye on.
Fortunately for Buffalo, they’ll have plenty of money to extend some of their players on the roster. However, the Bills need to choose who they give money to wisely. If they extend or sign the wrong players, Buffalo could be trying to fix their previous mistakes in the future.
In any form of business, you can never have enough money. That can definitely be said for all 32 teams in the NFL. Provided that, there are going to be players that are released by their respective teams to free up more cap space. Who could be a surprise roster cut for the Bills this offseason?
Prior to the 2018 season, the Bills signed Trent Murphy to a three-year, $22.5 million contract. Next season, Murphy will be the third-biggest cap hit for Buffalo as he carries a price tag of $9.7 million. Only Star Lotulelei and Mitch Morse will count more against the cap than Murphy.
Before joining the Bills, Murphy spent four seasons with the Washington Redskins. An injury prevented him from playing in 2017, thus giving him three seasons on the field.
In those three seasons, the Stanford product accumulated 15 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, 42 quarterback hits, and six forced fumbles. When Murphy signed with Buffalo, he was expected to make an immediate impact with the defense. Instead, he’s struggled to produce for the Bills in his first two seasons with the team. The former second-round pick has combined for only nine sacks, 14 tackles for loss, 18 quarterback hits, and four forced fumbles with Buffalo.
Given his numbers, Murphy isn’t living up to expectations two years into his three-year deal. As a result, the Bills could choose to release Murphy and free up nearly $8 million in cap space. Additionally, Buffalo would only incur a dead-cap penalty of $1.75 million.
The Bills have plenty of options they can do at the defensive end position if they choose to release Murphy. Therefore, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise if Buffalo moves on from the veteran pass rusher in the offseason.