Buffalo Bills Have Plenty of Cap Space to Use on E.J. Manuel

By Andrew Fisher
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills hope to have drafted their franchise quarterback with E. J. Manuel. In somewhat of a surprising move, the Bills made Manuel the first quarterback selected in this year’s draft, after they traded down to the No. 16 spot in the first round. Now Manuel’s place with the Bills is all but official, except for the fact that he’s yet to sign a deal.

Is it uncommon for first round picks to still be unsigned at this point? Absolutely not, but many of the teams who have yet to sign players have money issues. The Buffalo Bills, certainly don’t have any financial issues. After all of their offseason moves to date, the team currently sits at $18.5 million under the salary cap. To put that number in perspective, that’s the sixth best cap number in the entire NFL.

So what kind of money will they offer Manuel?

It’s tough to get an exact number, but if you look at the deal that Brandon Weeden received after being selected No. 22 a year ago, it’s as close as we can get. There weren’t any QBs selected in the middle of round one last year, but Weeden going in the early twenties, received a four-year/$8 million deal.

On the other side of the first round, Ryan Tannehill went eighth overall, and received a four-year/$12.6 million deal. So just by good old logic (which I’m sure is rarely used in contract negotiations), one could estimate that Manuel will receive a deal somewhere in the middle of Weeden’s and Tannehill’s.

Prediction on E.J. Manuel’s contract – 4 years/$11.5 million. When he’ll sign it? TBD…


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