The Buffalo Bills added a third piece to their backfield this offseason, as has become a bit of a tradition.
In recent years, TJ Yeldon and Matt Breida were brought as the “slightly known” veterans to team up with Devin Singletary and Zack Moss in the Bills’ running back room.
After a rocky road, the 2022 version will be Duke Johnson.
The former Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins rusher inked a one-year deal in Buffalo. Like those before him, the numbers are not anything eye-popping.
According to Spotrac, the 28-year-old signed a deal worth $1.27 million.
Of that, $1.12M is his base salary and $127.5K is coming to him via signing bonus. Overall, Johnson’s contract has another $250K of his base salary guaranteed.
In the end, Johnson’s finances will give the Bills a minimal $1.272M salary cap hit.
If things don’t work out, releasing Johnson will only give Buffalo a $377.5K dead cap hit as well. The difference between his salary cap hit and dead cap number is how much money the Bills could save against their salary cap in letting him go.
Because of the small commitment, Johnson will earn every ounce of playing time he gets in Buffalo. But the Bills clearly covet a pass-catching running back.
Prior to signing Johnson, the Bills agreed to a two-year, $8M deal with Washington Commanders running back JD McKissic.
He decided to ultimately return to Washington, however, they did commit some dollars to McKissic, or planned to. That could indicate how the Bills wouldn’t mind having a pass catcher coming out of their backfield in 2022.