With a little under two days to go before the free agency period begins in the National Football League, the Buffalo Bills made the decision to protect half of their restricted free agents.
The Bills announced late Monday afternoon that they have issued a restricted free agent tender to wide receiver Chris Hogan, defensive tackle Corbin Bryant, and offensive tackle Jordan Mills. The trio of players are now protected by those tenders, and if another team were to sign any of them to an offer sheet, the Bills would have the right of first refusal to match the offer sheet.
There are three degrees of restricted free agents, and with the Bills' salary cap restrictions, common sense would indicate that the Bills likely used the lowest of the three for all three players. The $1.671 million tender would give the Bills no draft pick compensation for any of the three players if they did not match an offer sheet.
If no offer sheets are signed and the players sign their one-year tender, then they will each count for $1.671 million on the 2016 salary cap. With that, those three contracts would displace the three lowest amongst the Top 51, and it leaves the Bills with approximately $7 million in cap space at this point in time.
The Bills still have three other restricted free agents that they've yet to make a decision on: linebacker Ty Powell, safety Bacarri Rambo, and defensive tackle Stefan Charles. The Bills have until Wednesday at 4:00 pm to issue a one-year tender to those players, or else they become unrestricted free agents.