Buffalo Bills salary cap outlook: C.J. Spiller is a bargain in 2013

Brian McIntyre
Shutdown Corner

The "Shutdown Countdown" is underway. In addition to previewing each team, "Shutdown Corner" will be taking a brief look at each team's salary cap situation heading into the 2013 season and beyond. We continue the series with the Buffalo Bills.

2013 Adjusted Cap Number: $132.674 million (10th-highest in the league)

2013 Cap Room Remaining: $18.665 million (fifth most in the league, as of July 7, 2013)

Best Bargain: C.J. Spiller was the Bills' last first-round pick before the 2011 collective bargaining agreement significantly reduced rookie compensation. Spiller's rookie deal contained $20 million in guaranteed money and has a maximum value of $37.127 million, including up to $12.8225 million in base salary escalators in 2013 and 2014. Spiller did not trigger any escalators to his 2013 base salary, which at $1.3 million, places the him outside the Top 25 in running back salaries this season and represents outstanding value for a player whose 1,703 yards from scrimmage were the sixth-most in the NFL last season.

Potential Camp Casualty: The Bills drafted kicker Dustin Hopkins in the sixth-round of the 2013 NFL draft and the rookie from Florida State could push veteran Rian Lindell off the roster. Lindell had the lowest touchback percentages in the NFL last season (14.9 percent, lowest among kickers with at least three kickoffs) and has just one 50+ yard field goal over the last two seasons. Hopkins was nine of 15 on field goal attempts from beyond 50 yards and is very strong on kickoffs. Releasing Lindell would save $2.1 million in both cash and cap space this season. The Bills could also part ways with outside linebacker Mark Anderson, who is due $2.4 million in base salary in the second season of a four-year, $19.5 million contract.

Looming Contract Issue: The Bills have two large contract issues to address, the first being safety Jairus Byrd, who is slated to earn $6.916 million under the franchise tag this season. The Bills have until 4 p.m. ET on Monday, July 15 to reach a multi-year agreement on Byrd, a 2009 second-round pick who has two Pro Bowls, two All-Pro selections and 18 career interceptions on his resume. The Bills would also like to lock up Eric Wood, a 2009 first-round pick who has recovered from a gruesome leg injury during his rookie season to develop into a quality center. Wood is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2014.

Long-Term Cash/Cap Outlook: The Bills have nearly $122 million in salary cap commitments for 2014, including $7 million in "dead" money after designating quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick as a "post-June 1" release and spreading his cap hit over the 2013 and 2014 seasons. The Bills will also look to reduce Mario Williams' $18.4 million 2014 cap hit, which is inflated by a partially guaranteed $10.6 million roster bonus.

Previous salary cap outlooks

32. Oakland Raiders
31. Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Arizona Cardinals

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