Bills Rework Contract of Defensive Tackle, Clearing Cap Space

Tim Settle

Getty Tim Settle celebrates after making a play in a Buffalo Bills game.

The Buffalo Bills are expected to make a number of moves to save cap space ahead of the start of free agency, and started the process by reworking the contract of defensive lineman Tim Settle.

ESPN’s Field Yates reported on March 11 that Settle agreed to a renegotiated contract, one that saves the team roughly $600,000 in cap space. Though it is just one small move, the Bills are expected to take other steps to get out from their cap crunch and build the space needed to fill holes in free agency.

Bills Looking to Free Salary Cap Space

Yates did not reveal the terms of Settle’s deal, which comes close to a year after he signed a two-year, $9 million contract with the Bills.

Settle joined the Bills last offseason after spending the first four years of his career with the Washington Commanders. He appeared in 15 games last season, starting two while making 19 tackles with one sack. Settle also had one defended pass and a forced fumble, playing an important role as a depth piece in the rotation that head coach Sean McDermott employs at defensive line.

As Sal Maiorana of the Democrat & Chronicle noted, the Bills are expected to make a number of other moves to free space before the start of free agency on Wednesday. The biggest potential move could come from quarterback Josh Allen’s contract, which could allow the Bills to convert $21 million of salary to a signing bonus and erase all of their cap deficit.

Bills general manager Brandon Beane said the team would be careful in the moves they make.

“It gets tighter and tighter. We are tight on the cap this year and we’re gonna be tight next year looking at it from a forecasting standpoint,” Beane said. “We got a couple of tough years coming up to do that. We will strategically push some money forward with some restructures coming up to get under the cap and then give us the opportunity to operate and fill some holes on both sides of the ball.”

Bills Face a Number of Needs in Free Agency

The Bills are expected to lose some key players to free agency, including two defensive starters. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Bills will likely be losing linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and safety Jordan Poyer, creating two holes that Beane would have to fill through free agency and the upcoming NFL Draft.

The Bills are expected to upgrade other areas, including wide receiver and offensive line. They may also need a new No. 2 quarterback behind Josh Allen, as veteran backup Case Keenum is headed to free agency.

Beane has hinted that with the tight cap situation, the Bills will need to be creative in how they address their offseason needs.

“We’re not going into this year saying, ‘Hey, I don’t think we’re going to be as talented as we were last season or in 2020 when we went to the AFC Championship,’” Beane told reporters in a season-ending press conference. “We’ve just got to, you know, we gotta hit on draft picks, we gotta find low-cost free agents that can find roles, whether it’s key backup, a solid starter, whatever it is. And so, it’ll be on me and our scouting staff to make the right moves.”

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