The Buffalo Bills are in no position to shell out big money to land big-name players this offseason, however, they do have something that few other franchises can boast — the highest odds to win Super Bowl 57.
After cutting linebacker A.J. Klein, which cleared up about $5.1 million in cap space, the Bills are in the market for a new veteran defensive lineman, and who better to fill that role than eight-time Pro Bowler Bobby Wagner, who was released by the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday, March 8.
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While Wagner will turn 32 in June, he’s still playing like the six-time All-Pro that he is. The Utah State alum has missed just 10 games in 10 seasons, per Bleacher Report, and finished the 2021 NFL season with a career-high 170 tackles, one sack, and one interception.
By releasing their former 47th overall pick from the 2012 NFL Draft, Seattle saves a whopping $16.6 million against its cap, as reported by ESPN‘s Adam Schefter, and “will be allowed to sign with another team before free agency begins next week.”
Buffalo Has Become ‘A Destination for Veteran Free Agents’
While the Bills won’t be the team to offer Wagner the biggest contract, they could be the team that the veteran linebacker wants to join regardless. On March 7, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer wrote his Monday Morning Quarterback Column, that the Bills could have the insider track for at least one coveted free agent:
The Bills—of Buffalo—are becoming a bit of a destination for veteran free agents. I’m told at least one big-name veteran reached out to the Bills (it’s usually the other way around) to show his interest in them and set up a meeting for his agent at the combine last week. So if the finances work out, it wouldn’t surprise me to see someone like that signed by the Bills.
Wagner will not have any trouble finding a new home in the NFL, and will likely receive an onslaught of very attractive offers.
However, for a future Hall-of-Famer like Wager, the prospect of joining a team led by Josh Allen, one of the highest-rated quarterbacks in the NFL, and working alongside the league’s top defense from the 2021 NFL season — it could be enough for him to agree to a pay cut and move to Buffalo.
On Wednesday, during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Breer revealed that there’s not one, but two high-profile free agents have called up the Bills. “Both guys are on defense,” Breer added.
There Will Be More Tough Cuts Coming for the Bills Roster to Create More Cap Space
Even after cutting Klein, the Bills are still approximately $1.5 million over the cap, which means fans can expect a few more tough goodbyes before the start of free agency. In order to add a player like Wagner, or to fulfill any other roster need for that matter, the question is no longer if more players will get cut, but who’s next.
The easiest way to create more space would be to release wide receiver Cole Beasley ($6.1 million), guard Jon Feliciano ($3.5 million), and/or linebacker Tyler Matakevich ($2.5 million).
While appearing on WGR 550 on Tuesday, the Bills general manager Brandon Beane found some humor about the team’s salary cap restrictions.
“I need a loan,” Beane joked. “We’re in the red right now. I wish I had more room but that’s part of where we’re at… So we’ve got some moves that we’ve got to get done between now and next week. We have some ideas and we’ve had some conversations. We’ll get there in time and you have to.”