The Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane addressed the media during the team’s final week of OTAs (organized team activities) on Tuesday, June 7, during which Jordan Poyer, was once again not present. The All-Pro has yet to report to practice since hiring high-power agent Drew Rosenhaus and going public with his plea for a new contract on April 8.
Beane addressed Poyer’s situation on Tuesday, providing both good and bad news regarding the 31-year-old’s situation. “I have not spoken directly to Jordan,” Beane said, which seemed to imply that there hasn’t been any major forward progress when it comes to contract negotiations.
On the plus side, however, Beane said he has no reason to believe Poyer won’t attend Bills’ mandatory minicamp which starts next week. “I don’t have any indication that he won’t be here,” Beane said.
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OTAs are voluntary, as was the workout program in April, so Poyer’s absence will not be penalized. But if Poyer doesn’t show up to the Bills’ mandatory minicamp, he could be subject to fines from the team for each practice session missed. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero shed light on what unexcused absences can cost a player on Tuesday.
Pelissero tweeted, “NFL teams can choose whether to fine players for unexcused absences from mandatory minicamp. Maximum fine of $15,515 for the first missed day, $31,030 for the second and $46,540 for the third (up to $93,085 total). Fines in training camp start at $40,000 to $50,000 a day.”
In March 2020, the Bills signed Poyer to a two-year extension worth up to $19.5 million with $8.5 million guaranteed, per Spotrac.com. As it stands, Poyer has a $10.7 cap hit for the 2022 NFL season, the sixth-highest on the team, and is set to make $5.6 million in base salary during the final year of his contract. So, he could afford a few unexcused absences if he’s truly holding out until a new contract is finalized.
Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazer offered some positive news regarding Poyer during his press conference on Tuesday. 13WHAM reporter Jenna Cottrell tweeted, “Frazier says he’s been texting with Jordan Poyer, says the safety has also been keeping in touch with his teammates.”
Poyer Is One of Many Bills Players Up for a Major Extension
While it’s great that Poyer wants to remain in Buffalo, he recorded 93 tackles, three sacks, and five interceptions last season, SB Nation’s Bruce Nolan tweeted out one of the glaring issues of offering him an extension right now, “When your NFL team has a lot of good players, they can’t all be on upper market contracts simultaneously.”
A restructured extension can create more cap room this year, but the main concern is for the 2023 NFL season, during which players such as Dawson Knox, 25, Devin Singeltary, 24, and Tremaine Edmunds, 23, are all set to become free agents.
Back on April 22, Beane mentioned that he had a “great relationship” with Rosenhaus, but strongly insinuated giving Poyer what he wants may not be possible, as reported by The Athletic‘s Joe Buscaglia:
Yeah, I mean, it’s hard. There’s other guys here that want to be paid, too… I want to pay ’em all — the ones that deserve it and have earned it. There’s other guys here that I feel have earned it as well, and want to do it. There’s guys that have left here since I’ve been here that I’ve wanted to pay, or our organization has wanted to pay, but you can’t pay them all, to the point of your question. And that’s hard because I’m a people person. I love these guys and love ’em to death, but I also have a job to do and have rules to follow. From a cap standpoint and cash. Unfortunately, you have to say goodbye to some.
No one doubts Poyer’s talent or that he deserves to get paid as he enters his 10th season in the NFL, his sixth with the Bills. But it remains unseen if Buffalo can afford to keep him at a price that makes him happy. As it stands, the Bills have $5,665,218 in cap space, per OvertheCap.com, and that’s without adding in wide receiver Tavon Austin‘s contract, whom the Bills signed last week.
Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott Said of Poyer, ‘Business Is Business’
Bills head coach Sean McDermott addressed Poyer’s absence during his press conference on May 24, noting that he spoke with the 31-year-old safety briefly during safety Micah Hyde’s charity softball game on May 15.
“We certainly miss having him here,” McDermott said. “I got a glimpse of him at the softball game the other day and had a chance to have a good conversation with him there. But business is business right now, and we’re focused on the guys that are here.”