The Jerry Hughes Blues

Fans tend to fall into one of two categories: the hater and the believer. The hater hates cuz he’s gonna hate, while the believer figures out how to justify the kool-aid you’re asking him to drink. If I had to choose one, I would say I am a believer. And, that’s why I’m in an unusual position. That is, I have to put a hater cap on for the moment, and criticize a roster move the Buffalo Bills made today.

The Bills signed Jerry Hughes to an extension totalling 45 million over 5 years. At first blush, 9 million per looks pretty ridiculous. But of course, this is the NFL and taking a contract at face value is naive. That’s what is for.

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Based on the contract details, it looks like the Jerry Hughes signing isn’t a good one. His cap hit isn’t so bad for the first two years, 6.175 and 7.575 respectively. But then it balloons to 10.45 in the third year, and 10.4 in the last two years. Not to mention, the dead cap hits are untenable for the first three years. In 2017 cutting Hughes wouldn’t even save two million off the cap. All in all, it looks like the Bills are doing everything they can to make it difficult to sign Marcell Dareus.

Yes, that last sentence was ridiculous. I was just trying to say something a “hater” would say — a hater take if you will. But take out the hyperbole, and what you’re left with is, is a contract that will make it more difficult to resign Marcell Dareus.

Case in point: Dareus is a free agent next year. The Bills will have a bit of cap room because of the backloaded contract they gave Jerry Hughes, but how do the Bills work in a signing of Dareus over the long-term? In 2015 Hughes’ cap hit is 7.575, in 2016 it’s 10.45. Even if the Bills backload the Dareus contract, they can’t release Hughes with any substantial cap savings until 2018.

How is this all going to work?

As a reluctant hater, I think I’m right. As a true believer, I hope I’m wrong.


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