The Bills knew this was a possibility and planned for it
When the Buffalo Bills signed Jon Feliciano to be their staring guard last offseason, they had a feeling it might not be a long-term solution. To plan for that event, they built in an exit hatch after just one year. We’ve reached that one-year mark, and with Feliciano benched to end 2021, they very well may use that ripcord.
Feliciano’s contract has no guaranteed money in 2022 or beyond and his signing bonus was low, so his dead-cap hit is just $1.5 million. In short, it’s pretty easy to walk away if they want.
Buffalo would save $3.1 million in salary as well as a $500,000 roster bonus, topping $3.6 million in total savings after taking into account the other bonuses he could earn.
There is an opportunity for a contract restructure, but I’m not sure Feliciano should want to sign on for that. If they lower his base salary to $2 million and fully guarantee it, knocking out his roster bonus, it would make financial sense for the Bills. The problem is that Feliciano is sure to get more than $2 million guaranteed on the open market. In short, he has no incentive to sign that deal. Maybe Buffalo saves $1 million and fully commits to Feliciano in 2022. Is that what either side wants?
I think it’s all or nothing for Feliciano in 2022. Pay him the signing bonus and make him fight for a roster spot at $3.1 to $3.5 million or cut him and save all that money.