The Bills and defensive tackle Star Lotulelei have agreed to a restructured contract for the remaining three years of the deal, Field Yates of ESPN reports.
Originally signed to a five-year, $50 million contract in 2018, Lotulelei will now earn a fully guaranteed base salary of $4.5 million in 2020 with up to $1 million in roster and workout bonuses.
He will receive a $6.15 million base salary in 2021 with up to $600,000 in bonuses and a $4.6 million base salary with up to $1.75 million in bonuses in 2022.
The move saves Buffalo roughly $5.4 million over the next three years as it reshapes its defensive line. The team spent a first-round pick on Ed Oliver in 2019 and a third-round pick on Harrison Phillips in 2018 — both of whom project to dominate snaps at Lotulelei’s position in 2020.
Lotulelei’s projected $8.1 million cap hit is slightly higher than the $7.8 million in dead cap Buffalo would have been responsible for if he was released before the 2020 season but saves the team $3 million — giving the already salary cap-rich Bills even more room to work with during a pivotal offseason.
With a projected $83 million in cap space, Buffalo can focus on its proclaimed goal of extending its cornerstone players — including left tackle Dion Dawkins, linebacker Matt Milano and cornerback Tre’Davious White.
The additional cap space also gives the Bills room to sign its free agents; general manager Brandon Beane expressed interest in bringing back defensive end Shaq Lawson after the latter’s career year in 2019, while offensive guard Quinton Spain said he’d like to negotiate a deal to stay in Buffalo before free agency begins in March.
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