The Buffalo Bills have reportedly opened up over $7.8 million of salary cap space in 2021 by converting wide receiver Stefon Diggs' base salary into a signing bonus, spreading the cap hit out over the next three years, according to ESPN's Field Yates.
Diggs still has three years remaining on his contract with the Bills. The move will add just over $3.9 million to the Bills' salary cap charges in 2022 and 2023. The wide receiver was scheduled to make $12,708,333 base salary in 2021.
With $11,718,333 reportedly being converted to a signing bonus, that leaves a salary of $990,000, which is the minimum for a player of six accrued seasons, which Diggs has. This was the absolute maximum the team could convert.
Considering the move happened on June 1, there's a lot of speculation that the team could be setting themselves up for another move. When players are released or traded as of June 1, their former teams can spread their dead salary cap hits out over two years, making it easier to make a move.
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz is frequently mentioned among fans and media as a possible target for the Bills. Prior to Tuesday, with any trade or release of Ertz, the Eagles would take on a dead cap hit of just shy of $7.7 million. As of Tuesday, their dead cap charges would be $4.2 million in 2021 and $3.5 million in 2022.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen is also looking at a contract extension at some point. The move could allow general manager Brandon Beane to use some of the savings to expedite that process.
According to the NFL Players' Association's public salary cap report, with all 88 players accounted for on the Bills' roster, they went into Tuesday having $3,620,582 of available salary cap space. Only the top-51 cap hits count during the offseason. With the reported Diggs conversion, they now have $11,432,804 of cap room.
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