The Buffalo Bills have two key starters from their defense that are set to be free agents this offseason in safety Jordan Poyer and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. If either player gets to free agency they are expected to be heavily sought after as both are excellent players.
If the Bills are unable to reach a new deal prior to the start of free agency, they would still potentially have the chance to use the franchise tag on one of those two players. However, according to Maddy Glab with the Buffalo Bills this doesn’t appear to be an option for Brandon Beane.
Cap space is likely to be the biggest issue for the Buffalo Bills
While Brandon Beane has never used the franchise tag as general manager for the Buffalo Bills, part of the reason has been there hasn’t been a top potential free agent that would make sense for such a move.
This year, Poyer or Edmunds certainly is the type of player that a team would use a franchise tag on but the reason the Buffalo Bills are unlikely to use it may be due more to the team not having enough cap space to fit a franchise tag salary.
The one-year salary for safeties for the upcoming year would be over $14 million and for linebackers it would be over $20 million.
During his press conference with the media on Tuesday at the NFL Combine, Brandon Beane said they were planning on restructuring some contracts to get under the salary cap and create some additional cap space. However, if they brought back Jordan Poyer or Tremaine Edmunds with a franchise tag it would leave almost no cap space to address other needs on the roster.
The Buffalo Bills do have until March 7th to decide whether or not they use the franchise tag but the focus at this point probably is centered around long-term deals if they want to bring either player back.