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Charles Clay restructures contract with Bills

Posted Feb 25, 2016

The Bills took a good step forward in fixing their tight salary cap situation for 2016 with the restructuring of Charles Clay's contract.


 

Bills GM Doug Whaley said this was the week when the club would begin addressing their tight salary cap situation. Step one was creating more cap room by carrying over their $4.4M in unused 2015 cap space to 2016. Step two was the restructuring of tight end Charles Clay contract.

Whaley confirmed the restructuring on the John Murphy Show Thursday at the NFL Combine.

“We just finished a renegotiation on Charles Clay,” said Whaley. “And there are other guys we may want to extend.”

Per team policy details of the restructuring of Clay’s contract were not disclosed, but the tight end’s new deal has provided the Bills with more dollars to put toward new contracts for OT Cordy Glenn and G Richie Incognito. Both are set to become free agents and have been deemed top priorities by Buffalo’s front office.

Clay, who was signed as a transition player last offseason, was due a $10M roster bonus next month and had a cap figure of $13.5M according to Spotrac.com. It’s likely that the new restructured deal turned that into a signing bonus allowing Buffalo to amortize that amount over the life of the contract, which originally had four years remaining counting the 2016 season.  Such a move would cut Clay’s cap figure by more than 50 percent.

Buffalo will still have more work to do to fit a new contract for Glenn and Incognito into their cap structure for 2016. Bills GM Doug Whaley admitted that Mario Williams current cap figure of $19.9M is cost prohibitive, but maintained that they’re leaving all options open in terms of how to rectify the problem Williams’ lofty figure creates for the club.

“Jim Overdorf is going to meet with his representatives this week and we are going to try to figure out a solution that is best for the Buffalo Bills,” said Whaley.

Other candidates for potential restructuring include defensive backs Leodis McKelvin and Corey Graham. Whaley also indicated that younger players on the roster will be approached about possible extensions to lower their current cap figures.

“There are some guys we’re going to meet with on our current roster, who won’t be free agents, who’ll we’ll be talking to,” Whaley said. “We want to extend and lower their cap number, or just give them more years because we think they can help us down the road.”

A prime candidate would be Stephon Gilmore, who is set to play on a one-year contract after the Bills picked up his fifth-year option last May.