There are still questions about exactly what the salary cap might be this offseason with the number now reportedly closer to $180 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Regardless of the exact number, the Buffalo Bills will have to make some tough decisions.
They will have limited cap space which means cutting some important pieces of their team or having starters leave in free agency. Ultimately it will likely be a combination of the two for the Bills this year.
However, one decision from last offseason makes this year even tougher for general manager Brandon Beane and the front office. This time last year the assumption was that defensive end Trent Murphy would be cut prior to the season.
The Bills signed Murphy as a free agent in 2018 with the hopes that he could be a key part to their pass rush at defensive end. He was coming off a knee injury that cost him the entire 2017 season but did have nine sacks in 2016.
The veteran was never able to have the same impact he did with the Washington Football Team and with a cap hit of $9.775, he seemed like a logical player to be cut. If the Bills were to cut him last offseason it would have resulted in only $1 million in dead cap while freeing up $8.775 million in cap space.
The reason that decision to keep Trent Murphy impacts this offseason is that extra cap space could have been ruled over to this offseason. According to Spotrac, the Bills potentially will have just over $3 million in cap space but that is assuming a salary cap of $185 million.
If the number ends up being $180 million, the Bills will be about $2 million over the cap before bringing back any free agents like Matt Milano, Daryl Williams, or Jon Feliciano.
While Trent Murphy did have some good moments during the course of the year, most notably in the playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens, he was inactive for most of the second half of the year. The decision to keep Murphy seemingly came down to the team likely not feeling like A.J. Epenesa was ready to be a regular contributor at the position.
While it certainly is easy to look back now, knowing how the season played out, when considering the fact the Buffalo Bills keeping Trent Murphy could cost them one of the free agents this offseason, this easily looks like one of the few missteps Brandon Beane has had as general manager.