Buffalo’s highest-paid running back was its least used
The Buffalo Bills invested very little in the running back position in terms of their salary cap commitments. As a whole, Buffalo’s running backs accounted for just $5.1 million of the team’s 2020 salary cap. That total wasn’t the lowest in the league, but there were only 11 clubs who spent less on their non-quarterbacks in the offensive backfield.
The players that Buffalo did spend the most cap dollars on contributed very little to the offense as a whole. Combined, Buffalo’s top two running backs in terms of cap dollars accounted for ten carries, 70 rushing yards, one fumble, six targets, one reception, 22 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdown.
The veteran who accounted for nearly all of those statistics signed on as an insurance policy, but even with inefficient production from the players in front of him on the depth chart, he was never able to earn a larger role. Thus, he finds himself at number nine on our list of the Bills’ worst salary cap values from 2020.
RB T.J. Yeldon
2020 Salary Cap Figure: $1.9 million (.86 percent of Buffalo’s overall cap)
2020 Stats: 10 carries, 70 rushing yards, one fumble, four targets, one reception, 22 receiving yards, one receiving touchdown
It pains me to list Yeldon here, but given his lack of use within the offense and his status as the top-paid player in his positional group, it’s an easy choice. I maintain that Yeldon could have added a dynamic element to this offense as a receiver that neither Zack Moss nor Devin Singletary can, but the coaching staff prioritized Taiwan Jones and his special teams usage over Yeldon and his potential as a receiver. Speaking of Jones, he was Buffalo’s second-best compensated running back, coming in with a cap hit of $1,693,750 last year. He’s not on this list thanks to the fact that he was actually active for most of Buffalo’s games (13 regular-season contests and all three playoff games). He also was among Buffalo’s core special teams players in terms of overall snaps. Yeldon played just 42 snaps on offense across three games on the active roster, so he was by far the worst “bang for the buck” in the running back room. He was also one of the worst salary cap values on the roster for 2020.