A few days before free agency officially began in the National Football League, the Buffalo Bills made the decision to issue a restricted free agent tender to three of their own. The Bills protected themselves in the event that wide receiver Chris Hogan, defensive tackle Corbin Bryant, or right tackle Jordan Mills would draw some interest on the open market.
As it turns out, they were right in doing so.
According to multiple reports, the AFC East-rival New England Patriots are going to bring in Hogan, whom the Bills tendered for the lowest amount possible. If the Patriots were to sign Hogan to an offer sheet, the Bills would have five days to match.
The trouble for Buffalo, though, is that they are running short on cap space, and they still have to give themselves enough room to sign all six of their picks from the 2016 NFL Draft. If the Patriots were to successfully poach Hogan -- meaning the Bills don't match -- Buffalo would receive no draft pick compensation because Hogan was issued the lowest tender.
Hogan is presently accounting for $1.671 million on the salary cap with the one-year tender, but that would be removed from the salary cap in the event that the Patriots, or any other team, successfully sign him away from Buffalo.
Hogan, 27, has spent the past four seasons working his way up the depth chart in Buffalo. Over the past two seasons, Hogan has 77 receptions for 776 yards and six touchdowns.